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Expert Interview: Mike Lloyd of Ambercite on Patent Searches

Mike Lloyd, Senior Vice-President of Business Development at Ambercite, is an IP analyst who has helped develop an entirely new way of analyzing patents. We recently caught up with Mike to get his insight on patents, the challenges facing those doing patent searches and how Mike and his team are trying to impact the world of patent searches. Here’s what he shared:

Tell us about the mission of Ambercite. How are you trying to impact the world of patents?

We want to help inventors, patent attorneys and patent professionals find better patents faster – by using our truly unique and innovative tools that can provide a very different picture on the world of patents.

Can you give us a primer on the world of patent searches? Who is searching for patents? Why is it important that they have better search abilities? What are some of the current challenges in searching for and analyzing patents? What’s at the roots of these challenges?

Patents are searched by inventors, patent owners, patent examiners, patent attorneys, and professional searchers.

Patent searching is currently an inefficient process. Professionals can spend hours searching through patents and still not find all they are looking for. The reason for this is that too many searchers are based on either keywords or classification codes. Both types of searches sound good in theory, but in practice can fall down when relevant patents have unexpected keywords or classification codes. This happens all the time.

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What patent innovations are you and your team bringing to the forefront? What excites you about improving the way we search for patents?

At Ambercite, we have developed an alternative way of patent citations, that applies smart algorithms to the 153 million patent citations in our database – to help our users instantly find the closest matches to the patents they are looking at. These can be accessed through two different solutions – one being an interactive patent network, and the second being a unique tool that can find thousands of matches for a whole portfolio of products

Why is the ability to search for patents effectively and efficiently so important to businesses today?

Patent searching matters – billion-dollar litigation has been decided on the results of patent searches.

But it is more than this – the results of patent searching can impact decisions to invest in new research, new products, new companies… multi-million dollar decisions can turn on the result of patent searches.

What best practices can you offer to patent searchers? What tools or resources should they be using to improve the way they search?

We recommend to clients that while they should continue to use a variety of approaches to achieve their search goals, that “no search is complete” without using recently released Ambercite AI tool. We also offer Amberscope, which provides left field thinkers to explore our network of over 50 million patent families.

What trends or innovations in the world of patents are you following today? Why do they interest you?

The big trend now is to speed up and improve the outcomes of patent searching via smart tools – and Ambercite is excited to be part of this trend.

What about trends in Big Data? What interests you in in the broader world of how we access and use data?

Big Data is exciting because we’re moving to a world where assumptions can be tested and hidden trends can be uncovered. This is a philosophy that appeals to me, in that data can provide new answers to real questions.

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