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Maps galore in the patent world

A presentation at a recent conference, by Andre Marais of Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, explained five maps regarding patents – visual depictions of information – that his firm can prepare for clients. The examples shown in the presentation appear to be elaborate Excel spreadsheets with colored cells and shaded columns to convey the information. His slides are excellent; ask Marais for a copy.

  1. Claim map that illustrates the coverage and relationships of a patent portfolio

  2. Prior art map that illustrates where prior art limits protection (See my post of Dec. 29, 2008: one service of LPOs is prior art maps.).

  3. Product coverage claim map that plots a company’s patent portfolio against its products and its portfolio against competitive products

  4. Landscape claim map that compares claims in your portfolio of patents against claims in competitors’ portfolios (See my post of Oct. 11, 2008: GE’s software for patent landscapes.).

  5. Freedom to operate (FTO) maps that illustrate how competitors’ portfolios map to your products.

All these maps marry knowledge of the law and practice with methods to portray the results of the analysis (See my post of Dec. 11, 2007: Microsoft’s software to classify large portfolios of patents.).

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