Technology life cycle analysis method based on patent documents

To estimate the future development of one technology and make decisions whether to invest in it or not, one needs to know the current stage of its technology life cycle (TLC). The dominant approach to analyzing TLC uses the S-curve to observe patent applications over time. But using the patent application counts alone to represent the development of technology oversimplifies the situation. In this paper, we build a model to calculate the TLC for an object technology based on multiple patent-related indicators. The model includes the following steps: first, we focus on devising and assessing patent-based TLC indicators. Then we choose some technologies (training technologies) with identified life cycle stages, and finally compare the indicator features in training technologies with the indicator values in an object technology (test technology) using a nearest neighbour classifier, which is widely used in pattern recognition to measure the technology life cycle stage of the object technology. Such study can be used in management practice to enable technology observers to determine the current life cycle stage of a particular technology of interest and make their R&D strategy accordingly.

Author(s): Lidan Gao, Alan L. Porter, Jing Wang, Shu Fang, Xian Zhang, Tingting Ma, Wenping Wang, Lu Huang
Organization(s): Chengdu Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Southwest Jiaotong University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Huaqiao University, Beijing Institute of Technology
Source: Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Year: 2012

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