Patent Trends Study Part Four: Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Industry
In our fourth article studying patent trends data across industries, we turn to the computational biology and bioinformatics industry. Computers have transformed many aspects of our everyday lives. However, much of drug-discovery, treatment testing and biology research is performed using the same wet-lab techniques developed decades ago. Rather recently, biotech companies have begun to capitalize on the impressive computational power, sophisticated models and skilled workforce to integrate computers into their operation. This integration can facilitate generating more accurate hypotheses, conducting more efficient tests and more thoroughly evaluating results. For example, modeling can be used to identify a set of therapeutics that have a physical structure complementary to a target, to better define a screen. Given that this valuable technological area sits at the intersection of biology and computers—which traditionally are associated with very different types of applications, examination and applicants—it is important to be well informed about the patenting arena when identifying patenting strategies.Our study not only identified a set of applications that pertained to this industry, but also—for each application in this set—it was determined whether the application pertained to one or more of the categories shown in the topology below. If so, the application was appropriately tagged, such that it could be included in one or more category-specific data subsets for subsequent analysis.