Patent bibliometrics and its use for technology watch

Björn Jürgens, Victor Herrero-Solana


Technology watch is a methodology for organisations to systematically analyze
technical information in a continuous way in order to gain insight and competitive advantage
in a specific technical domain and is based mainly on statistical analysis of patent information.
Patent statistics are commonly based on bibliographic data and generated with bibliometric
techniques. In this paper we describe the differences between patent bibliometrics and classic
bibliometrics and propose several patent indicators for technology watch activities which we
classified into four categories: performance, technology, patent value and collaboration
indicators. In a case study we undertook a bibliometric patent analysis using the described
groups of indicators in order to generate a technology watch of nanotechnology for the domain
of a whole country (Spain) and explained the different data visualizations we used in order to
represent the indicators. We conclude that statistical analysis of patent information and its
visualization is a powerful methodology for any competitive intelligence activity centred on
technology but there are also some limitations to bear in mind when undertaking technology
watch activities using patent information discussed in terms of its timeliness, patentability
criteria, sector dependence, quantity vs. quality.


Competitive intelligence, nanotechnology, patent bibliometrics, patent indicators, patent information, patent statistics, patents, Spain, technology intelligence, technology monitoring, technology watch

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