A patent quality analysis for innovative technology and product development

Amy J.C. Trappey, Charles V. Trappey*, Chun Yi Wu, Chi Wei Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Enterprises evaluate intellectual property rights and the quality of patent documents in order to develop innovative products and discover state-of-the-art technology trends. The product technologies covered by patent claims are protected by law, and the quality of the patent insures against infringement by competitors while increasing the worth of the invention. Thus, patent quality analysis provides a means by which companies determine whether or not to customize and manufacture innovative products. Since patents provide significant financial protection for businesses, the number of patents filed is increasing at a fast pace. Companies which cannot process patent information or fail to protect their innovations by filing patents lose market competitiveness. Current patent research is needed to estimate the quality of patent documents. The purpose of this research is to improve the analysis and ranking of patent quality. The first step of the proposed methodology is to collect technology specific patents and to extract relevant patent quality performance indicators. The second step is to identify the key impact factors using principal component analysis. These factors are then used as the input parameters for a back-propagation neural network model. Patent transactions help judge patent quality and patents which are licensed or sold with intellectual property usage rights are considered high quality patents. This research collected 283 patents sold or licensed from the news of patent transactions and 116 patents which were unsold but belong to the technology specific domains of interest. After training the patent quality model, 36 historical patents are used to verify the performance of the trained model. The match between the analytical results and the actual trading status reached an 85% level of accuracy. Thus, the proposed patent quality methodology evaluates the quality of patents automatically and effectively as a preliminary screening solution. The approach saves domain experts valuable time targeting high value patents for R&D commercialization and mass customization of products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Engineering Informatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Back-propagation neural network
  • Patent indicator
  • Patent quality
  • Principal component analysis

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