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A Function-Behaviour Oriented Search for Patent Digging

[+] Author Affiliations
Davide Russo, Tiziano Montecchi

University of Bergamo, Dalmine, Italy

Paper No. DETC2011-47733, pp. 1111-1120; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 31st Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5479-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Patents are an important source of technical knowledge which is increasing its fundamental role in supporting design activity. Analogical thinking, for example, is based on a fruitful and previously unnoticed analogy with an existing solution and patent in another area. Patents reveal solutions to technical problems, and they represent an inexhaustible source of information: more than 80 percent of man’s technical knowledge is described in patent literature [1]. Therefore automation of systems for patent retrieval, especially for commercial use, is in great demand. Manual extraction of desired patents is very costly and time consuming. This article proposes an inventive procedure to create a thesaurus, identifying the pool of keywords related to a given product based on a combination of creativity methods and a pre-built thesaurus of physical effects. Keywords are classified into a hierarchical tree diagram according to the FBS Function/Behaviour/Structure classification [2]. This classification, called KOM® - Knowledge Organizing Module [3], can be used for building a state of the art, problem solving activity support, carrying out technological transfer and forecasting activities. In this work, the algorithm for automatic patent digging aimed at building the state of the art of a system or of a technology is presented. Novel and key points are widely illustrated in this paper, together with an explanatory case study.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Patents



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