IPR&D Information Adventurers Blog

R&D and Patent Alerts
Part 3: Harnessing the power of patent alerts

Last time, we looked at the three key elements that form the genetic makeup of any alert. Together, recall, precision and insights form what we call the Alert Quality Index (AQI). Each are interlinked and essential in the process, but capturing the optimal data set is just the first step on your alerting journey to the promised land.

Let’s play tag!

To unlock the true potential of your efforts, the captured data needs to be enriched to enable you to derive insights that resonate with stakeholders across the organization. In our extensive experience, the best way to achieve this is by tagging the documents against a pre-agreed custom taxonomy. This allows you to look holistically at patent and non-patent literature alike, regardless of technical skills or area of functional expertise.1

This key step enables you to refine how you disseminate the information and – critically – to whom it goes. As we discussed last time, a major issue we see time and again in organizations is that alert reviewers fail to comply, often due to the lack of precision inherent in the process. Being able to deliver all the documents that are relevant to the individual (recall), with little or no ‘noise’ (precision) goes a long way to maintaining reviewer interest and ensuring compliance.

If we then capture all this information periodically (according to alert frequency), maintaining the same criteria, taxonomy and so on, we create a hugely-valuable resource for your organization – a highly-relevant, enriched data repository that allows reviewers to derive insights that answer numerous business questions.

Unlocking the economic value of primary and future insights

Essentially, this tagging allows you to generate the Insights your business craves and are likely the fundamental reason you started the alerting process in the first place, but it can also provide additional insights at the same time, with no additional effort.

A holistic view of all data types – with a unified taxonomy that resonates across your business – becomes a powerful tool that answers the primary question of the alert (for example: opposition purposes), but can also derive additional insights (such as competitive intelligence and technology trends). This re-use and interrogation of the data saves stakeholders time in not having to touch the same documents numerous times. This utility and re-use is the driving factor in organizations deriving economic value from their alerting investment.

Now, if you manage to get the AQI right, repeating the process each period systematically, and maintaining the consistency of your search strategies and taxonomy, your alerts will become less onerous and offer more insights to your stakeholders. If you then store alerts in a suitable repository that can be interrogated, you have created a highly-valuable resource. The ability to track who receives certain documents and ensure they are reviewed and perhaps commented on in a timely fashion also provides a compliance element. If you achieve all of this – the Nirvana for any alerting process – you will have truly unlocked the power of alerting for your organization. Take a bow, a give yourself a pat on the back, and have that well-earned drink!

Coming up

The next post in the IPR&D Alerts series will be a case study on a successful implementation of the alerting process, and how it is helping the company to drive strategic business decisions across many use cases – simultaneously and at no extra effort. Don’t feel too bad, this didn’t happen overnight. Read to learn more – it’s never too late for you and your company!

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1 My colleague, Urs Dommann, already discussed custom tagging in some detail.

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