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Patent information for strategic technology management

By Holger Ernst


The information in patent data can be used for strategic planning purposes. A conceptual framework is developed showing the use of patent information in core areas of technology management. This paper addresses how patent information can be used for competitor monitoring, technology assessment, R&D portfolio management, the identification and assessment of potential sources for the external generation of technological knowledge, especially by means of mergers and acquisitions, and human resource management. Indicators of patenting strategies and various portfolio concepts which can be used for these purposes are described. Because of its strategic value, it is argued that the retrieval and evaluation of patent data should be institutionalized within the organization in order to ensure the continuous and systematic use of patent information in a company's decision-making processes. How patent information becomes a core element of a firm's knowledge management system is outlined. This type of strategic patent information is geared toward two important recipients: (1) senior management who uses this information for decision-making purposes in important areas of technology management and (2) external stakeholders of the firm, such as shareholders and analysts, who have an increasing interest in assessing a firm's technological competence because of its strong impact on the firm's future competitiveness.Patent information Knowledge management Strategic planning Technology management Patent quality Patent portfolios Technology share Financial analysts

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