Information Technology Reference
Patent analysis has a long history in information science, but recently there is a
surge of interest from the commercial sector. Numerous newly formed companies
are specifically aiming at the patent analysis market. Apart from historical driving
forces such as monitoring knowledge and technology transfer and staying in com-
petition, the rising commercial interest in patent analysis is partly due to the public
accessible patent databases, notably the huge amount of patent applications and
grants from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The public
can search patents and trademarks at USPTO's website http://www.uspto.gov/
shows a visualization of a network of 1,726 co-cited patents.
The availability of the abundant patent data, the increasingly widespread aware-
ness of information visualization, and the maturity of search engines on the Web
are among the most influential factors behind the emerging trend of patent analysis.
A minimum spanning tree of a network of 1,726 co-cited patents related to cancer