“Innovation and R&D policies: Crossroads between the North and the South”
August 27-29, 2015
IUT de l’Oise, Creil
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Special issue: Journal of Innovation Economics & Management
- Submission of an abstract: July 15, 2015
- Submission of full paper: August 30, 2015
There will be 2 issues: 1 in English & 1 in French. Pour télécharger l’appel à communications pour la revue Innovations. Revue d’économie et de management de l’innovation : http://rrifr.univ-littoral.fr/?p=27
“Information and Knowledge in Patents”, by Pierre SAULAIS*
For an industrial or academic organization, analyzing patent portfolios becomes in the past years more and more important. But are we really today in a position to easily and reliably determine and structure their informative content?
We can find an abundant literature about the automatic analysis of information enclosed in patent portfolios, especially in the US where USPTO (United States Patent Trademark Office) imposes editing standards facilitating such an analysis. Many indicators of technological and economic value appeared by combination of classes and citations, for instance. This kind of analysis is focused on a global statistical approach, likely to be polluted by many deviations: class allocation deviation (size of taxonomy, overlap), language deviation (abstract only translated in English, …), cognitive deviations (patent files are not written by the inventors but by Industrial Property office clerks not skilled in inventive activity analysis and mainly concerned by novelty), semantic deviations (approximations in lexical use, …), statistical application deviations (extrapolation with small confidence interval, …), … As its perimeter is restricted to information level without any penetration of its inventive knowledge, automatic analysis is limited to the identification of trends operated in comparative mode, which still opens and keeps a very large spectrum of strategic applications (competitor watch, …).
Our experience suggests that, beyond the characterization of the invention’s mechanism and results, lies, at an upper level of non-explicit abstraction, the mental process leading from a technical problem, unsolved by the expert within the present state of the art knowledge, to the definition of specific innovative works, which brought not only a technical solution to the technical problem but also a substantial creation of inventive knowledge likely to significantly improve the state of the art of knowledge. The ability of penetrating this inventive knowledge requires the transformation of our point of view about the technical object described in the patent, making it evolve from product to intangible knowledge object. The point is then to shift from the level of information to the level of knowledge and also to contribute to an evolution of the level of knowledge to the level of metacognition (ability to activate structure knowledge and comprehension in a reasoned way, which aims at defining and elaborating creations). This change in point of view is based on the structuration of knowledge, on the creation of a knowledge map and on the projection of inventive knowledge onto this map.
Further to the determination of inventive knowledge, the creation of which is requested to solve the technical problem, the evaluation of innovative capacity included in a patent portfolio cannot be carried out without measuring the deepness (or degree) of inventive activity, which is itself linked to the fertility, to the actability and to the acceptability of inventive knowledge created during the inventive activity.
Next step consists in defining a method evaluation the deepness of inventive activity, method based on the structured analysis of the mental process leading from a technical problem to the creation of inventive knowledge, according its coherency, its teleological aspect, its autonomic or heteronomic dominance.
The valorization of such a formalized inventive activity seems achievable by the association of two specialists. First one is an expert in inventive activity, specialized in knowledge structure and in intellectual inventive corpus, in charge of the extraction of inventive activity. Second one is a innovation project manager, in charge of activating inventive activity within a partnership and of sharing prospective vision within this partnership, inside or outside the organization.
To sum up, our approach is based on a double dynamic, firstly in the domain of knowledge of knowledge with the evolution from information to metacognition and secondly in the knowledge field with the activation of this metacognition.
* Associated researcher at Institut Mines-Télécom
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- Submission of abstracts: May 11, 2015