Luciano Kay, Nils Newman, Jan Youtie, Alan L. Porter and Ismael Rafols
The purpose of this paper is to present a new global patent map that represents all technological categories, and a method to locate patent data of individual organizations and technological fields on the global map. This second patent overlay map technique is shown to be of potential interest to support competitive intelligence and policy decision-making. The global patent map is based on similarities in citing-to-cited relationships between categories of the International Patent Classification (IPC) of European Patent Office (EPO) patents from 2000 to 2006. This patent dataset, extracted from PatStat database, represents more than 760,000 patent records in more than 400 IPC categories. To illustrate the kind of analytical support offered by this approach, the paper shows the overlay of nanotechnology-related patenting activities of two companies and two different nanotechnology subfields on to the global patent map. The exercise shows the potential of patent overlay maps to visualize technological areas and support decision-making. Furthermore, this study shows that IPC categories that are similar to one another based on co-citation (and thus close in the global patent map) are not necessarily in the same hierarchical IPC branch, thus revealing new relationships between technologies that are classified as pertaining to different (and sometimes distant) subject areas in the IPC.
Supplementary file 1: Excel file containing the labels of IPC groupings, citation and similarity matrices, factor analysis of IPC groupings
Supplementary file 2: Examples of overlay maps of firms and research topics.