patent indicators

Autonomous Vehicles Patenting Activity

As autonomous vehicles get closer to a market reality, the patent engines will be firing up. What type of patenting activity can we see so far? Searching the USPTO abstracts for combinations of “autonomous”, “self- driving”, “car”, and “vehicle” I found a total of 271 patents. After organizing these patents into groups of their IPC class, I investigated each IPC class to determine if it is emerging or declining technology. Since vehicles such as submarines and airplanes have had autopilot functions since the 80’s there are some IPC classes such as “2D position controls” and “Steering Controls” that are already in decline. In order to find which IPC’s are emerging and which ones are in decline, I charted their growth of each IPC against it’s average over the 34 year period from 1976-2010. This is just a sample of the IPCs that I have investigated, however, it shows that some…

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Pace of Technological Innovation using TCT – Evidence in USPTO

Technology Cycle Time (TCT) is an accepted way to evaluate the pace of technological development although it requires some special considerations. A good analogy is how a chainsaw is a good way to cut down a tree, but it also presents many risks, including the inherent risk of felling a large object. Error of judgement, calculation or interpretation could be fatal. Here is some stark evidence that TCT calculations are a reliable indicator of the current technological environment. The speed of technological development is slowing in recent years. Is this only due to the economic situation? Unlikely. TCT in the USPTO shows that the slowing technological development preceded the economic crisis of 2007. Although overall patenting is increasing dramatically, the rate that the technology is replacing itself is actually slowing. Some evidence of this can be seen when you look at the average processor speed in PC’s and notebooks. Although…

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Patent Indicators

This presentation was for my MBA class ‘Strategic Management of IP’ at NCHU. In this paper I outline various patent indicators and their uses, along with example charts from the USPTO. This paper covers indicators of activity, value, economy, and pace of technological innovations, as well as using citations, and litigation data as indicators. If you have any questions please email me at: HERE IS A LINK TO THE PPT:

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