Patent Information Project to Leverage Innovation: The Use of Social Media for Its Selective Dissemination

Patent Information Project to Leverage Innovation: The Use of Social Media for Its Selective Dissemination

Sérgio Maravilhas-Lopes (IES-ICS, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9993-7.ch017
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This chapter describes the project for the development and implementation of a theoretical support model for the creation of an information system that will allow the dissemination of scientific and technical information contained in patent documents using the web sites of industrial property official entities. The support of information resources, available through libraries and information services in universities, will be crucial for the project and the success of university research centres (URC) in Science, Technology, and Medicine (STM). To achieve a coherent program of dissemination and make possible the access to patent information by the URC, social media network (SMN) tools (like RSS, Blogs, Wikis, Newsletters) will be used. The tools will also effectively achieve control to constantly improve the system implemented.
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Every organization needs information to innovate and gain competitive advantage in their markets. Obtaining the latest and greatest technologies has motivated the search for information that will allow maintaining productivity, competitiveness, superiority and status against competitors (Burgelman, Christensen et al., 2009; Christensen, Anthony et al., 2004).

There is a very important information resource available free of charge – the patent information - which is easily accessible via the Internet, allowing to stimulate creativity that can motivate new innovations (Maravilhas, 2009; Maravilhas & Borges, 2009).

Patent information repositories available through databases and digital libraries are a huge source of scientific and technical information.

There are about 90 million patent documents published worldwide, most of all containing information not available in any other source (Albrecht, Bosma et al., 2010; Bregonje, 2005; Greif, 1987; Marcovitch, 1983). Even information that can be found in other documents like scientific articles, technical reports, conference proceedings, theses and dissertations, among others, are not described with the same degree of detail and, sometimes, take longer to be available to the public.

In addition, approximately 1 million (2.2 million in 2011 and 2.6 million in 2013) new documents are created every year (Mueller & Nyfeler, 2011, p. 384), and its publication allows its analysis even before the protection is granted.

More than 30% of existing patents are in public domain (having reached the expiry date of their protection, or for non-payment of annual maintenance fees), or are not being exploited due to lack of funds or technical and/or financial inability of the holder (Godinho, 2003; Idris, 2003; Maia, 1996).

Analysing the technical information contained in patent documents, researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs can exploit precious ideas about the state of the art in any area of science and technology (Maravilhas & Borges, 2011a; 2011b).

For Idris (2003), the main reason to analyze patent information relates to the current information contained in patent documents, which can help avoid erroneous investment due to research duplications previously conducted by others.

The insufficient use of patent information has caused a considerable expenditure of research funds in research and development (R&D) projects, whose results may be threatened by the return on investment made in patented technologies already existing.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Creativity: Creativity is based on reasoning that produces imaginative new ideas and new ways of looking at reality. Creativity is an individual process, arises from the idea that popped into someone's head. Relates facts or ideas without previous relationship and is discontinuous and divergent. No Creative Process exists if there is no intention or purpose. The essence of the Creative Process is to seek new combinations.

Innovation: The application of new knowledge, resulting in new products, processes or services or significant improvements in some of its attributes. When a new solution is brought to the market to solve a problem in a new or better way than the existent solutions.

Patent Information: During the process of registration and grant of a patent, the official entities like the USPTO, EPO or WIPO, will generate one or more legal documents that are called patent literature. These documents contain information that is referred to as patent information.

Invention: The creation or discovery of a new idea, including the concept, design, model creation or improvement of a particular piece, product or system. Even though an invention may allow a patent application, in most cases it will not give rise to an innovation.

Creative Imitation: The strategy followed by some companies that imitate something already existing but adding value. Often the imitator can foresee, better than the original creator, how the product or service can be best suited to meet the needs of consumers, changing it to match this observation.

Serendipity: Serendipity is the ability to make important discoveries by accident. Not all the ideas for new products or processes appear voluntarily and intentionally. Sometimes a mixture of luck and preparation provides valuable discoveries. A serendipitous discovery results from the combination of a happy coincidence with perspicacity.

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