Recently Intellectual Ventures revealed a list of 33,000 patents in a move towards partial transparency. You can find out more about that decision in this article on GeekWire. You can view the list of patents from Intellectual Ventures on their website here. However this list isn’t particularly useful on its own, it tells you very little about the landscape of patents IV owns or the implications of that. Thankfully The Lens has tools to fix that!
We took the list from IV and imported it into our system. For a start we looked at only their US patents (22,083) of which we were able to simply match 21,793 documents in our system (with a large number of the remainder being Application Numbers (eg. 13/351588) which don’t have publicly available data).
However we also did another bit of very fun manipulation to explore additional candidates for their holdings. This made use of ‘simple families’. A simple family is defined as all patent documents (worldwide) which share all priority documents. Thus they should and generally do represent the same invention, often in different jurisdictions. Because different jurisdictions have different rules of reporting assignments and ownerships, this can be a great tool for discovering business relationships that may be hidden.
So we took the 21,793 US Patent Documents, then reduced these to exemplars of simple families (this got rid of applications that had become patents) by clicking ‘group by simple family’ in the Family Data tab; and reduced the number to 16,249. Then, we went to the tab ‘Collections’ and marked ‘Expand by family’ and Hey Presto. Now we have 70,342 patent documents – now from MANY jurisdictions.
If you click on the chart above, you’ll go directly to the public collection of IV Expanded Family that may represent a larger group of IV owned, controlled or at least associated patent documents in many locations. Starting some forensics with these will be fun.
We’ll be looking at adding the trickier cases and extra information from other jurisdictions soon, but we just couldn’t wait to show you all the results we have. Far from a simple list of patents you can now explore the intricacies and connections between these documents.
Check out the charts below to see some of the trends we found, or go to the public collection itself to do your own exploration. You can even clone the collection into your own workspace (by selecting all patents and adding them to a new collection of your own) – then you can add or remove patents to compare different subsets of the data.
This is just one of the ways we are building The Lens to support your exploration of Patent Landscapes.