Here, you find informations about PatentSight's data harmonization and ownership assignments.
Last updated: June 2021
PatentSight conducts a harmonization process to increase the accuracy of owner-related analyses. The process entails manual data verification to define the current owner of each patent family. Furthermore, we complement this process with the latest M&A information and research on former company names and misspellings.
Our data harmonization is first conducted automatically by an algorithm. Then, corporate structures are retrieved. Finally, the PatentSight harmonization team performs a manual quality check. Depending on the level of harmonization of an owner, the owner icon displayed in the top left corner of the Owner Info Box is either red, yellow, or green.
Red = Harmonization Level 0
Yellow = Harmonization Level 1
Green = Harmonization Level 3
If you encounter unharmonized owners with a yellow or red owner symbol that are significant for your analyses, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Customer Success Manager. We will issue a harmonization request for you.
Please note however that it may take several weeks until your harmonization request has been processed.
The Ultimate Owner Concept
For the correct evaluation of patent portfolios, it is crucial to know the current owner of each patent family.
We report the current owner of a patent family at a consolidated level. To define the Ultimate Owner of a patent family, we not only take into account and manually check the corporate structure of a company but also consider all reassignments, mergers and acquisitions.
An Ultimate Owner has no known majority shareholder and owns patent families that belong to its portfolio either directly or through its group companies, subsidiaries, and/or associate companies (each being majority-owned by the Ultimate Owner who holds at least 50% of shares).
For the consolidation of an Ultimate Owner, we harmonize applicant, assignee, and reassignee names along with misspellings, misleading transcriptions, and transcription variants. The harmonized Ultimate Owner also includes former names of the company itself or any of its subsidiaries. The same approach applies for research and governmental institutions as well as for NPEs.
To add an Ultimate Owner to the search filter, click on the "Owner" icon.
Next, click on "Add ...", enter the name of an owner of interest, and select the owner you would like to add to the search filter.
Finally, click on the refresh icon to run the search. This will narrow down your search results to all active patent families that belong to the portfolio of the owner selected (here: RELX).
You can also use the Ultimate Owner in charts and tables for rankings, benchmarks and other analyses.
Subsidiaries of an Ultimate Owner
In accordance with the Ultimate Owner Concept, PatentSight only shows the highest level of a corporate tree as owner. However, it is also possible to work with inventor, applicant, reassignee and/or reassignor information as originally stated in the patent documents.
You can find these filter elements under "+ More" in the section "Company".
These filter elements can be used to extract the portfolio of a subsidiary or patent families related to a specific inventor.
The "Inventor", "Applicant", "Reassignee" and "Reassignor" are also available as attributes for charts and tables and can be used, e.g., for inventor rankings.
Note, however, that the inventor, applicant, reassignee and reassignor names are not harmonized! We therefore recommend to perform auto-grouping and/or manual grouping of these items to obtain meaningful analysis results.
See also: → Workbook Custom Groupings
The concept of the Ultimate Owner usually applies to the enterprises (legal entities), research or governmental institutions that own patent families.
The owner "<unknown>" refers to patent families that are owned by individual inventors. Therefore, a large number of patent families that has the owner "<unknown>" is, at the same time, co-owned by owners that have the → owner type "Inventor".
Moreover, "<unknown>" can also refer to patent families that do not have any applicant information at all.
Appendices of Owner Names: "(in: ...)" and "(w/o ...)"
In some cases, subsidiary portfolios are extracted from the portfolio of an ultimate owner to allow analyses of these entities. Such owners have the suffix "(in: ..."), where the name of the ultimate owner is stated in the parentheses.
In other cases, the portfolio of a certain subsidiary is excluded from the portfolio of an ultimate owner to allow analyses of the ultimate owner without the patent families that belong to this subsidiary. Such owners have the suffix "(w/o ..."), where the name of the subsidiary excluded is stated in the parentheses.
One example for this approach is the owner Sumitomo Chemical:
- Sumitomo Chemical
Patent portfolio of the ultimate owner Sumitomo Chemical.
- Dongwoo Fine-Chem (in: Sumitomo Chemical)
Patent portfolio consisting of patent families of the subsidiary Dongwoo Fine-Chem. All these patent families are also part of the portfolio of the ultimate owner Sumitomo Chemical.
- Sumitomo Chemical (w/o Dongwoo Fine-Chem)
Patent portfolio consisting of patent families of the ultimate owner Sumitomo Chemical without the patent families of Dongwoo Fine-Chem.
Adding up all patent families of "Sumitomo Chemical (w/o Dongwoo Fine-Chem)" and all patent families of "Dongwoo Fine-Chem (in: Sumitomo Chemical)" will not necessarily result in the Portfolio Size (= number of patent families) of the ultimate owner Sumitomo Chemical. This is due to the fact that some patent families are co-owned and show up in both patent portfolios.
PatentSight distinguishes between six different owner types, each of which has a specific definition and a different symbol in the Owner Info Box:
Operating company that produces goods or provides services that it then sells to customers or clients.
Government, governmental organization or business enterprises fully or majority-owned by a government.
Person who is listed as both, applicant and inventor in corresponding patent document(s) of of a patent family.
Person who is listed as applicant but not as inventor in corresponding patent document(s) of a patent family.
Non-practicing entity or patent-holding company, that is not producing goods but is involved in investing in and licensing of patents.
Research institute, university or similar institution of higher education and research.
Only the owner types "Company", "Government", "NPE", and "Research" are manually harmonized.
The owner types "Inventor" and "Natural Person" are not harmonized and always have the Harmonization Level 0.
To filter for a specific owner type, you can use the filter element "Owner Type" which can be found under "+ More" in the section "Company".
Note, however, that if you select e.g. the Owner Type "Research", the search will also return patent families that are co-owned by different owner types. This is why an owner ranking based on such filter settings may also include owners that do not have the Owner Type "Research".