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Discussion of all things patent mapping and analytics.

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Type 2 diabetes (too much sugar in the blood) is a disease that is thought to affect 360 million people worldwide, and can shorten life expectancy by 10 years. For this reason the concept of a drug that may help reduce Type 2 diabetes by increasing the amount of sugar removed from the body with urine has great promise. Early results suggest this drug could reduce mortality, blood sugar, blood pressure and even help with weight loss. 

This drug is “Jardiance” (technical name of empagliflozin) and known to be a “SGLT2 inhibitor”. This is the third known such inhibitor, along with “Invokana” (canagliflozin) and "Forxiga" (dapagliflozin). 

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Background

Ambercite recently published a report on the top 10 patents in Australia, which has been well received. For another perspective on innovation in Australia, we have been collaborating with Andre Vermeij of Kenedict in the Netherlands. Andre has developed an innovative approach for mapping collaboration and collaboration opportunities, and was interested to apply this to Australian patents. The resulting study is shown below - and is a practical example of what is possible when disparate companies collaborate (note that this blog is jointly published by Kenedict here).

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Australia has a long history of innovation, dating back over 50,000 years ago to when the original aborginal inhabitants first learned to use bushfire as a form of farming. Since then Australian innovators have added much to the world, including refrigeration, the torpedo, military tank, electronic pace maker, ultrasound and the black box (even if the 'black box' is orange in the figure below).   

blackbox.jpg

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Google is now recognised as one of the world's leading companies, with one of the world's leading brands and 53,000 employees.  But not so many years ago, Google was just a couple of friends at Stanford University. One of them, Larry Page, filed a patent application on 10 January 1997 for what eventually became known as the 'Page Rank patent' , which is nerd humour for a patent filed by Larry Page for ranking the importance of web pages. (Check out the excellent description of this invention found here).  This in turn became one of the key concepts that underpins the now ubiquitous Google search engine.

This patent, and 10 closely family members, were originally the property of Stanford University, and in 2007 were all assigned to the National Science Foundation. The most important of these is the first first, US6285999 for a Method for node ranking in a linked database. This has an AmberScore value of 53, or 53 times the average value for US patents, which may not surprise many. This high score partiy reflects the fact that this patent has been cited 716 times to date - it is clearly an important patent.

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Nest Labs are a great example of a company that is helping to develop the ‘internet of things’. Founded by two former Apple engineers in 2010, the company was attracting major venture capital funding within months. Google Ventures invested in the company in 2011, with parent company Google buying out the whole company for $3.2 billion in January 2014. 

Nest have to date developed two types of products, being a home thermostat and fire alarm. Both are interesting choices in that home thermostats and fire alarms have both been around decades, and are commonly available at very low price points. However in both cases Nest have added value by incorporating smart features often based on internet access and control, and also through producing some of the most attractive home appliances I have personally seen for many years.

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