Example of an Event Horizon Table

Another tool used to tie patent activity to business activity is an Event Horizon table.  This is shown in the “Example of an Event Horizon Table” figure. In this figure significant business announcements are listed down the left-hand column in the order in which they were made, followed by patent filing activity during the same year by industry participants in the right columns. The right-hand columns give a good feel for the R&D and intellectual property investments each competitor is making.  This can be used to understand the significance of the business announcements. There are times when these announcements are clearly defensive in nature and other times they are offensive, where the participants hope to accelerate their position in the market. It substantiates those announcements where people are walking their talk versus those that are just puffing. Since top management teams often are aware of these competitive announcements, this help them understand which ones they should believe and focus on and those which they can safely ignore in their own strategic thinking.