Another way to find application areas that might be of interest is to build landscape maps from the group of 17,000 patents in the database. These landscape maps show areas where past investments have been made. In the “Utilizing Landscape Maps” figure, mountains show where large investments have been made.
In this case investment was in the areas of monomer coatings, particle coatings, package materials, coating substrates, reinforced fibers, pressure sensitive adhesives, inkjet, transfer sheets, and photographic materials. There is also significant whitespace or blue ocean areas available.
The project related art as identified by keywords and concepts contained in the 14 initial patents yielded 256 patents related to the subfield of most interest to the project team. The art selected is shown as white dots on the landscape map. The company’s own patent is shown as a red dot. Looking at the area of concentration and can be seen the pressure sensitive adhesives are an area to explore in further detail. This is the business segment where most of the art related to ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers have been used. Looking first at this area current interest the project team now wishes to look more closely at who’s been working in this subfield? Which potential competitors if any dominate the subfield? How active is a subfield been over the last 10 years? And who holds key patents in the subfield?