The Patent Landscape Analysis (PLA)
R&D is essential to expanding small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). The SME frequently has one or more speciality items on the market and is developing additional ones. However, insufficient or worse, no strategic planning for future R&D efforts often results in the extinction of SMEs. The Patent Landscape Analysis is a valuable but underutilised approach that can help to mitigate this, if not wholly prevent it (PLA).
A PLA will describe the growth prospects available in a specific industry, whether those opportunities are in a crowded market, and who will fight for them. The PLA will also highlight the nations with the highest R&D activities and market potential. The data on emerging technology clusters and sub-clusters in a specific industry is the most valuable.
The Market For Autonomous Vehicles (AV)
Consider the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry as an example. A PLA presents a timeline of patent applications, which reveals a 200 per cent rise in patent filings from 2009 to 2015 (data for 2016 to 2018 still needs to be completed) as a result of safety concerns, environmental concerns, and the use of public transportation.
By 2020, there should be 10 million autonomous vehicles on the road. By 2030, the market for these vehicles is expected to be worth $87 billion globally, thanks to increased corporate and public investment. Self-driving car demand will rise, opening up new revenue streams. Additionally, by streamlining traffic, reducing vehicle emissions, and saving long-term infrastructure expenditures, communities will become “smarter.”
Unsurprisingly, automakers are the ones who file the most patents, with Toyota faring the best. Over the next five years, Toyota will invest USD 50 million in studying and developing artificial intelligence (AI) for self-driving automobiles. At MIT and Stanford, the business has built research centres.
Bosch, Hyundai, Ford, and GM are the top five firms. Waymo, a 2016 Google spinoff firm with the slogan “a way forward in mobility,” is a top-10 patent filer with an upward tendency. According to the PLA report, Japanese businesses set the global standard for AV technology development.
Additionally, non-automotive businesses are creating proprietary technology for the AV market. Baidu, Hitachi, and IBM are the top three patent filers in this industry, and Apple and Uber round out the top ten.
To include this technology in future self-driving cars, IBM, for instance, has built a cloud-based system that employs Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning to gain insights into a significant amount of unstructured data. By 2019, the world’s largest provider of web services, Baidu, hopes to begin mass-producing autonomous vehicles.
The leading AV business in Canada is QNX, which files AI patents to facilitate communication between autonomous vehicles and surrounding infrastructure.
The PLA also breaks down the AV sector’s technology clusters. The five primary collections include, for instance, connected vehicles, range systems/sensors, safety mechanisms, cruise control technologies, and navigation systems.
Google is the only company to offer a rotating roof-top camera. With its exclusive technology, this laser-powered camera detects pedestrians, cars, traffic lights, and road signs at the front of the car. Radar mounted on the rear bumper identifies approaching vehicles, ultrasonic sensors at the rear wheels track movement, and internal sensors determine precise positioning.
Each cluster comprises sub-clusters that can further examine to identify prospective R&D areas. The PLA also offers a trend analysis of the R&D expansion (or contraction) of R&D in a particular technology cluster or sub-cluster. Such a landscape provides valuable data for businesses planning their R&D strategy in emerging regions.
In conclusion, a Patent Landscape Analysis (PLA) offers organisations a valuable tool to strategically position their R&D toward growing markets. To assist you in deciding how to proceed, consult an IP expert.