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Mike Lloyd

Mike Lloyd


Mike first developed an interest in patent data when working as a research scientist, and deepened this interest when working as an IP manager which led to his role at Griffith Hack. Mike has published in the areas of chemical engineering, patent management, the value of patents and the use of patent data in in a wide range of publications and forums, including the international journals Les Nouvelles, and Managing Intellectual Property.

Here at Ambercite, when using Cluster Searching, we like to talk about two calculated metrics:

  • "Similarity"
  • "AmberScore"

And sometimes "Licensing Potential".

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So what is Americas' most litigated patent? Is it something to do with smartphones, maybe the famous 364 page Steve Jobs patent, being asserted against big smartphone companies around the world? Or maybe something to do with Viagra, being asserted against big pharma?

Or is it a predictor of the arrival time of buses or parcels, being asserted against public transport authorities and small companies across America?

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Imagine being asked to search for prior art for patent US9,000,000, the patent featured in our last blog which compared Cluster Searching to Semantic searching. What search strategies could you use?

Firstly, lets think about how you might search for prior art in a conventional word based prior art search system. You might develop a series of queries. Maybe something like:

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Summary

How does Cluster Searching compare to semantic patent searching? In this blog we run a simple comparison based on the round number patent of US9,000,000 - by choosing this particular patent we have tried to avoid cherry picking a patent that is particularly suited to Cluster Searching.

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How long does a patent invalidation search take?

If you were to use a traditional approach, it could be quite a while. You need to work out the keywords for the search, and make sure that you don't miss any relevant keywords. You might also look up and apply a class code filter to the results, an additional step which could take additional time. 

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Many patent owners, whether universities, SMEs, research organisations or even big corporations, end up having a large patent portfolio that can cost them a significant sum to maintain over time. For example, to renew a US patent at the 11.5 year mark can cost up to US$7400, while Chinese and many European patents need to be renewed every year, with a total cost exceeding US$1000 per year  (including service charges) in some cases. 

In an ideal world the owners would value each patent before renewing them, which could provide them with the confidence to save money by abandoning low value patents.

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How much is a patent worth?

Some say that most patents are worthless, but conversely some patents are very valuable, and hard-nosed companies still invest heavily in new patents

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Most people when starting a patent search start by looking for patents with similar keywords, in either one of the free patent search engines (Google Patent, Espacenet, The Lens or others) or one of the subscription engines out there. And indeed this is a good approach and one that many users of Cluster Searching also use. 

Similarly, a lot of people combine this with class code searching. Class (or classification) codes can be useful means of conducting a preliminary filtering, or even a search in some cases.

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Yahoo is putting up a portfolio of 2659 of its patents up for sale, and is accepting bids at the moment. Price expectations have ranged up to five billion dollars.

2659 is a lot of patents by any measure, and this would ordinarily stretch the resources of any patent analyst. However here at Ambercite, we have developed some powerful tools such as Cluster Searching to help these analysts, and so we were curious to explore this portfolio ourselves. In particular, we were wondering: 

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Besides working with Ambercite, I do some IP management work with clients from time to time. As part of this, we were working with a client a couple of weeks ago who was worried about an Australian patent. This patent had been granted in Australia, and a very similar family member had been granted in the US - with the granted US patent having 30 prior art patent citations, and some non-patent literature. 

In Australia it can be very difficult to invalidate a patent for anything other than lack of novelty. So we needed a single document that disclosed all of the key features of the granted patent.

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