Uncovering IP Value with Semantic Search

February 17, 2015 LexisNexis IP

Do you remember a time when you donned your winter coat for the first time that season and found money in one of the pockets?

Imagine doing that while preparing a patent application.

One IP-driven company turned up a company in a completely different industry using its technology without license when searching for prior art for a pending patent application. The discovery might not have occurred if it weren’t for the power of semantic search.

totalpatent_semantic_searchSemantic search technology makes prior art searches more efficient and thorough. Semantic patent search is superior to traditional matching search engines because its linguistic analysis can identify relevant results outside the expected target areas of a prior art search.

That same quality also gives semantic search the power to uncover hidden revenue that may already exist within your patent portfolio.

Like prior art, patents that may infringe upon your company’s patents are not always found within an invention’s classification, or even within the same industry or field. Even if you are in the practice of monitoring patent databases for infringing claims, you likely have —very reasonably —limited the scope of those searches to areas of technology development that overlap those in which your company operates.

As one medical device company discovered, however, the ideas you own may have found their way into entirely unexpected uses.

This particular company had developed an improved version of one of its earlier, patented inventions. The improvements were such that the company believed that the new technology could merit a separate patent of its own, and the intellectual property team began a prior art search.

In the process of performing that search, they were surprised to find an outside patent whose claims appeared to infringe upon the patent of their own, earlier invention.

Though the company’s intellectual property team routinely searched for potentially infringing materials, it had never previously discovered this patent. The specificity of its work and the need for efficiency had caused the IP team to focus on direct competitors and other companies within their industry sector.

The semantic search algorithm in LexisNexis® TotalPatent® was not constrained by those parameters. The infringing patent, as it turned out, had not been issued to a medical device manufacturer or any company operating in a similar industry.

It belonged to a video game development studio. The medical device company contacted them about the infringement and the parties were able to reach a licensing agreement. 

If you do not run semantic searches on the keywords and phrases that support the patents in your company’s portfolio, it is possible you could be overlooking infringing patents. Expanding the ways in which you perform prior art searches may save your company more than just time and effort.

Let a semantic search check your IP portfolio’s coat pockets.

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