Industrial challenges in patent management and crowdsourcing patent landscapes for engineering design innovation

Vasantha, Gokula and Wodehouse, Andrew and Corney, Jonathan and MacLachlan, Ross and Jagadeesan, Ananda (2016) Industrial challenges in patent management and crowdsourcing patent landscapes for engineering design innovation. In: 23rd Innovation and Product Development Management Conference, 2016-06-12 - 2016-06-14, University of Strathclyde.

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Innovation is critical to sustain in prevailing competitive business environments. Industries need effective innovation strategies in-practice to develop and deliver novel products and services swiftly. In order to implement innovation strategies effectively, industries need innovation capacity in engineering design supported with intellectual assets. However, there are many issues that prevent streamlining these processes. The objectives of this research are to explicit the issues related to industrial patents (one of the important resources in intellectual assets) generation and management processes, and propose cost-effective crowdsourcing approach as a tool for patent landscaping activities. Interviews with patent attorneys and intellectual audit specialists reveal that most industries have ineffective intellectual property strategy; engineers do little patent searching, face challenges to identify novel product features, and often find difficulties to interpret patent information. The initial experiments of using the crowdsourcing approach for patent clustering activity reveal that general crowd workers (not knowing much about patents) were able to identify one third of expert clustered schema for much lesser cost. Further research work to strengthen the usefulness of the crowdsourcing approach for patent landscaping related activities is discussed.