Tech Scouting Is Like Cutting the Grass!

Monday, 13 June 2011 06:30
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If your company engages in external innovation, technology scouting is a necessary and important activity. In some important respects, it's a lot like cutting your lawn. How so? It's got to be done. It should be done regularly. Very few people LOVE doing it.If you put it off, the need won't go away.

You can either do it yourself, or pay someone else to do it. If you choose to do it yourself, allow proper time.If you pay someone else to do it, ensure that they have experience and know what they're doing. It must be done well if you want to enjoy the results (and if you want to avoid having the "neighbors" show you up!).For best results, use the right tools. 

So, if we agree that for companies engaged in external innovation, tech scouting should be done and requires good tools...allow me to suggest one that can help make tech search more productive: Innography. Among other features, Innography has a powerful, semantically sensitive search engine which ties to an expansive online worldwide patent and trademark database. This database allows intrepid searchers to generate IP derived leads and inspirations (i.e. "fodder" to spark follow-up).    

How might one leverage Innography in a technology search? Let's say that I was seeking to develop a product to compete with the hypothetical Acme Kitchen Surface Stain Remover. I might type "hard surface stain remover" or other similar search string into Innography's search engine...or I might enter a semantic string from the Acme patent so as to evoke a list of related intellectual properties (e.g. patents or patent applications). Or, I might search for patents related to the Acme trademark. Several separate searches conducted using different search strings may be necessary in order to generate the most robust list. This precedes the time consuming (but necessary) work of discerning the most relevant leads.   As one might expect, technology search and scouting is neither simple nor fast...and success is never guaranteed. There are many stones that must be turned over in order to identify a short list of strong leads and viable options. Still, if your work requires tech search, I invite you to consider Innography to help make your searches more productive. Visit  (or write Mark Walls at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

See You at INPEX? 

I will be attending this week's INPEX Invention and New Product Exposition in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, June 15th. (See ). I'll be seeking inspiration and "the next big idea". If you'll be there, perhaps we can arrange to spend a few minutes together. If this sounds appealing to you, contact me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (614) 937-2408. Hope to see you there!  

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