Chapter 8: Research program
CHAPTER 8 - RESEARCH PROGRAM
IP Australia’s Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) was created in November 2012. From its original focus on economics research, it has grown to include a program of open data products and the Patent Analytics Hub, which provides analytical services to government agencies and research organisations.
Our focus as an office is to provide empirical evidence to support IP Australia’s policy advice and operational decision-making. For example, as part of IP Australia’s work plan to progress the protection of Indigenous Knowledge in the IP system, a report was commissioned from the Australian National University on “Methods for Estimating the Market Value of Indigenous Knowledge”. This work will support IP Australia’s efforts to ensure that Indigenous Knowledge is adequately rewarded and that the owners or custodians of that knowledge are primary beneficiaries.(48)End note 48. Blackwell, B.D. Bodle, K. Hunt, J. Hunter, B. Stratton, J. and Woods, K. (2019). Methods for Estimating the Market Value of Indigenous Knowledge, report commissioned by IP Australia, Canberra. https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/ files/caepr_final_report_on_ik.pdf.
In 2019, IP Australia integrated its longitudinal IP data with the BLADE managed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This enabled the OCE to conduct research projects under the banner of the Economic Data and Analysis Network (EDAN).(49)End note 49. See https://www.pmc.gov.au/public-data/data-integration-partnership-australia/economic-data-and-analysis-network-edan. One of the projects, “IP rights, business profitability and market competition” is described in Chapter 7 and a second EDAN project analyses the impact of IP rights on business performance. Both projects will be published as OCE research papers in 2020. The OCE will also use the BLADE dataset to examine the relationship of trade marks to export behaviour.
Research was also undertaken in 2019 to inform policy reform to Australia’s design right. This research will be published as part of IP Australia’s Designs Review Project, discussed in Chapter 4.
An important part of our mission is to actively engage with the IP community through participation in seminars and conferences, including internationally. We use these fora to continually consult on the OCE research program and data priorities.
In 2019, the Office of the Chief Data Officer was expanded to include the data team responsible for the preparation of IP data for public release through the Intellectual Property Government Open Data (IPGOD), Intellectual Property Government Open Live Data (IPGOLD), Intellectual Property Longitudinal Research Data (IPLORD) and the TM-Link international trade mark dataset.
Throughout the year the team provided datasets tailored to the needs of specific projects in Australia and internationally for universities and government researchers. Of specific interest in 2019 was geographic locations and the availability of descriptive text. This support for innovation research continues to be an important part of our data role into 2020.
In 2019 significant investment has been made in improving the quality of the data in the open data sets with the development of new extraction and cleansing methods in their production. Throughout 2020 we will continue with improvements to the data sets, firstly with the release of IPGOD 2020, followed by IPLORD and IPGOLD later in the year.
Updates are also planned for the TM-Link data set in 2020. There is strong interest in this internationally linked trade mark data and opportunities to include additional data, especially from the Asia-Pacific region, are being investigated. IP Australia continues to provide the IP Data Platform, a cloudbased analytics lab, with the public data preloaded for research and analytics. Further development of this environment will make this easier to use, particularly enabling visualisation and dashboards for intuitive insights.
In 2019, IP Australia’s Patent Analytics Hub (the Hub) published four reports, including an interactive visualisation on Emerging Technologies in Complex Disease Diagnosis(50)End note 50. See https://public.tableau.com/ views/CFSpatentanalysis/AIinCFS?:embed=y &:toolbar=no&:display_ count=no&: showVizHome=no prepared for the Australian National University, and successfully trialled the delivery of free Patent Landscape Reports with every international type search(51)End note 51. See https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/about-us/news-and-community/news/free-patent-analytics-support-your-international-patent-application.
The Patent Analytics Report on Machine Learning Innovation(52)End note 52. See https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/ reports_publications/ patent_analytics_report_ on_ machine_learning_innovation.pdf, prepared for the Australian Computer Society, analyses machine learning technologies that underpin AI. Patent filings relating to machine learning have experienced outstanding growth across all sectors, with 36 740 patent families filed since Australian Intellectual Property Report 2020 45 2012, and a four-fold global increase in patent filings over five years from 2012−16. In real world applications of machine learning, the telecommunications sector had the most patent filings (17 per cent of patents filed), likely reflecting the growth and net worth of this sector in the global economy. This is mirrored by development of core capabilities in image and video analysis (36 per cent of patents filed).
The Hub also published ‘Hidden Gems—a Patent Analytics Study on Innovation in the Australian Mining Sector’.(53)End note 53. See https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/ reports_publications/hidden_gems_-_a_ patent_analytics_study_on_innovation_in_the_australian_mining_sector.pdf This report used patent data to analyse innovation trends from 1997–2015 in the Australian mining and mining equipment technology services (METS) sector, with an emphasis on both Australian-led global innovation and filings for patent protection in the Australian market. The relative number of filings into Australia has increased compared with our previous analysis in 2015.
A trial of free Patent Landscape Reports provided with every international type search was well received. Following evaluation of the trial, these reports now form part of IP Australia’s standard international type search service. By providing key insights into technology trends and activities, these reports are designed to support inventors considering international patent protection. The reports, paired with an international type search, can help potential applicants strengthen their IP strategy.
The aim of IP Australia’s program of economic analysis and research is ultimately to evaluate the economic impact of various components of the IP system, in order to assist evidence-based operational and policy decisions within IP Australia and other Commonwealth agencies.