SAS introduces software to slash patent red tape

SAS AB recently announced the introduction of SAS Innovation Analysis, an application service provider (ASP) solution that aims to deliver patent intelligence to life sciences, high-tech, consumer packaged products and manufacturing firms that depend on comprehensive analyses of their own and their competitors' patent rights, to make more informed strategic business decisions.

Available now to customers worldwide, SAS Innovation Analysis is said to use a concept-based pattern recognition algorithm to probe a 15-terabyte database of patent submissions from virtually every patent office in the world. Going beyond existing software that offers only keyword search capabilities, SAS Innovation Analysis is designed to instantly identify concepts with the same meaning; for instance, a SAS Innovation Analysis search for "cup" would return patents relating to "cup", "glass", "tumbler", "goblet", "mug" and "containment vessel for consumable aqueous solutions" among others. This functionality aims to allow users to rapidly differentiate patents that contain true innovation from those that are simply functional forgeries using different words.

"Successful companies pay careful attention to the contribution of their intellectual assets to business performance," says Carol Rozwell, vice-president and research director, life sciences for Gartner "Unfortunately, many firms with extensive patent portfolios have unexploited opportunities and unrecognized threats. A patent office mining solution brings these issues to light, and supports better, faster decision-making across the organization."

SAS Innovation Analysis can play a key role in many facets of the business:

  • New product development -- SAS Innovation Analysis aims to quickly identify opportunities and threats early in the research and development process, long before large expenditures are devoted to a project.
  • Mergers and acquisitions -- SAS Innovation Analysis is designed to enable users to select potential merger and acquisition targets, to uncover verifiable data that supports proper valuation, to identify potential roadblocks in selling acquired products, and to ensure that all critical patent rights can be secured.
  • Patent litigation and patent enforcement -- SAS Innovation Analysis can quickly and cost-effectively find relevant prior art that could invalidate patents owned by a company or its competitors, the company says.
"Innovation is the lifeblood of every business, and patents play a critical role in protecting innovation," says Jim Davis, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer of SAS. "In today's high-tech business world, the stakes are huge, and the window of opportunity can close in the blink of an eye, so companies must have a single, comprehensive picture that fully probes the strengths and vulnerabilities of their own and their competitors' patents. SAS Innovation Analysis provides the insight to help executives to make strategic decisions relating to their patent rights."

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