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OPEN INNOVATION


is quite diff erent from the one it is now working within and so may not be pivotal to the company’s current business strategy. If so, it may be amenable to some form of out-licensing venture or even complete disposal of these patents.


Another potential route for investigating open innovation opportunities is to look at what is happening within academic institutions. T ese organisations may be undertaking cutting-edge research at the boundaries of scientifi c knowledge, but could lack the ability or opportunities to transfer it successfully or quickly into a commercial environment.


A typical patent search will comprise searching by subject keywords and specialised indexing terms. A useful insight into academic research can then be gained by restricting the search to assignees containing terms such as university, or univ, or college, or institute (remembering to include variations of these terms in other languages if appropriate).


Once a key organisation or scholarly inventor has been identifi ed, it is worth researching co-workers and any published journal articles or doctoral theses further, as these may also be relevant in evaluating the potential value of any collaborative


“THE CHALLENGE LIES IN IDENTIFYING THOSE PARTNERSHIPS, COLLABORATIONS, LICENSING DEALS, ACQUISITIONS OR POTENTIAL NEW EMPLOYEES TO FEED INTO AND ACCELERATE YOUR INNOVATION CYCLE.”


venture. A database such as ProQuest COS Scholar Universe can be invaluable at this stage, as it contains more than 3 million profi les for authors, researchers and other scholars from around the world, in just about any discipline, from more than 2900 universities. Data are aggregated and regularly reviewed from a variety of sources to off er an accurate, multifaceted view of scholars, their work and area of speciality, all


of which is useful information in the search for external opportunities. ■


Ian Pearce is a training and information consultant at Dialog. He can be contacted at: ianpearce@dialog.com


Ian Pearce began his career with Derwent Information and spent 12 years within the T omson Corporation (now T omson Reuters) in various roles. In 2006, he joined Dialog where he maintains responsibility for providing expert knowledge on Dialog® and ProQuest Dialog™ content, platforms and applications. He has a BSc Hons in Chemistry with German.


World Intellectual Property Review January/February 2012


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