Patent analysis

The realization of a patent analysis can be carried out by patent information centers or offices, by researching patent related databases or by engaging the services of a patent attorney. The procedure for the patent analysis can be divided into several steps: 1. Clear definition of the investigation area. 2. Selection of the search medium and keywords. 3. Afterwards, the actual research is done. The keywords and the search medium are used to do the research. 4. Finally, the results are classified, analyzed and selected.


There are many different techniques for analyzing patents, e.g. :

1. Text mining techniques – “Text mining is a knowledge based process that uses analytical tools to derive meaningful information from the natural language text.” (Abbas et al. 2013)

2. Visualization techniques – “Another major approach for contemporary patent analysis is the use of visualization tools to represent patent information and result analysis. For instance, to understand the technological trends in a particular domain, patent maps or clustering methods can be utilized.” (Abbas et al. 2013)


Summaries of up-to-date technical information, overview of already known solutions and about new technologies, evaluation of development tendencies. The visual output of patent analysis can be in form of patent networks, patent maps or data clusters.

Pros and cons


  • Patent analysis is flexible to use
  • Patent analysis can help in getting the know-how of the relevant technology field in order to forecast market needs
  • Patent Analysis can help in getting an overview of the technologies the competitors’ are using or working on


  • Only patent information is collected
  • Patents are publicly available at the earliest 18 months after registration

Complementary methods

Patent analysis is a special kind of literature review.


Especially in the field of defining business strategies and supporting decision making, patent analysis plays an important role. Tools which can effectively help to understand and visualize patent information can be very beneficial to organizations, because these tools are useful for analyzing and forecasting future technological trends.