I am lucky enough to have recently returned from the PIUG Conference in Denver, where I presented on what Ambercite was doing. While I was there I listened to some excellent presentations, met some great people, and come away feeling positive about the future of patent analytics, and the role of Ambercite within this future.
Among the most thought provoking of these presentations was by Barry Brager, titled "If You Can't Use It, Why Do It? Tailoring Client-Specific IP Analysis & Visualization". This presentation should be published by PIUG in due course, but in short Barry raised ten challenges to suppliers of patent analytics, and challenges which we are certainly aware of. Among these challenges is the issue of making the results as easy to understand as possible.
Patent analytics is not the only field where the need to understand is paramount. On the same day that I presented in Denver, Gizmodo published an article titled: The Problem With Big Data Is That Nobody Understands It. This included the following quote from Hilary Mason, chief scientist for the URL shortening service Biy.ly:
a data scientist must have three key skills. "They can take a data set and model it mathematically and understand the math required to build those models; they can actually do that, which means they have the engineering skills…and finally they are someone who can find insights and tell stories from their data. That means asking the right questions, and that is usually the hardest piece."
While patents analytics is not big data per se, there can be some significant parallels, including the requirement to process large amounts of data to come up with a usable result in a meaningful time. Ambercite recognises and is responding to the types of challenges discussed by Ms Mason, including the last of these challenges. In particularly, the product development program of Ambercite is focused on developing products that present data in an easy to understand and intuitive fashion as possible, so that the stories in the data stand out, and without a large amount of time being required to run the studies.
Figure: Showing strong forward citation relationships from the highest rated Paice patents to highly rated patents from Ford and Toyota, and in turn suggesting a infringement risk which has been confirmed in litigation between Paice, Ford and Toyota. Taken from data compilled in our hybrid car patent study.
Ambercite looks forward to unrolling out some of the results of this work in the near future, including a new concept, building on the NPA principles, that it is both simple and yet provides a powerful new perspective on patent searching. We invite interested parties to register their interest with us, so that they can be among the first to gain access to the new tools