Custom fields are designed to be a helpful tool for recording your thoughts on a patent. Indeed, you might ask yourself multiple questions when screening through a list of patent literature such as "Is this patent relevant?", "Does this patent present a high infringement risk?" or "Is any action required?". Using PatSnap, you can, therefore, categorize your patent based on internal metrics, which is one step towards customizing and classifying your search results within a workspace.
Custom fields can be created either within or outside of a workspace using the username drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of the screen. These fields are global to your entire account and can easily be shown or hidden in the different workspaces based on your needs and objectives.
As you create a custom field (you can create a maximum of 50 custom fields), you will be given four different options to select from: text, date, drop-down menu and numeric. If the question is open such as "what is patented?", the text option could be most appropriate due to the broad number of words you may add in that field. Conversely, if the question is closed such as "Relevancy?", you can generate a yes/no binary drop-down menu or a numeric drop-down menu with numbers 1 to 5 to grade your results. Finally, a number can be useful when classifying patents by internal categories.
Custom fields are not only handy to annotate patents, they are also one of the most powerful data management options available on the platform. Once created, you may also use these as a refinement tool, which is one step towards categorizing your patents to meet your needs. You may then select all the relevant hits as shown above to either export, copy or move them to a separate folder within the same or a different workspace.
The sharing and commenting options on a workspace leave space for collaboration. Multiple accounts can be linked to the same workspace and access the created custom fields. This can be useful to create a workflow by using custom fields such as "Team", "Team Leader" or "Technical Expert" in addition to using them to categorize patents to meet your personal needs. In this way, you can use these shared spaces to internally structure your workflow.
Interestingly, custom fields can also be used in combination with the commenting tool. Should you wish to only see custom patents with a comment attached to them, you might want to create a custom field "Comment?" with the option to select from "yes" or "no". That way you will be able to use that custom field to obtain a list of only commented patents.
It is important to note that custom fields can be seen and edited on a shared workspace but these shared custom fields will not show on your other workspaces. Additionally, settings are proprietary to the user, which means that despite the possibility to share a workspace with custom fields, it is not possible to visualize the table view and family grouping settings that are shared with you.
The Custom Analysis in the Analysis tab of a workspace helps you to analyze and narrow down your results, allowing you to not only generate a graph in a couple of clicks but also to refine down your results further. You will be given the option to create x and y-axis, where you could typically look at the evolution of IPC codes over time in your field of interest as shown below:
From there, you will be given the option to further customize this graph by picking the relevant IPC codes on the left-hand side and by selecting the relevant time frame. When applicable, you can choose to display numbers. Moreover, you can change the graph type at the bottom should you wish to change the graph from a bar chart to a stacked line plot with markers. Bars and markers are hyperlinked and with just a single click you will be directed to the corresponding patents. You may easily from there select the patents, categorize them in a separate folder or export them, although it is possible to directly export the graph on the Custom Analysis as well.
Custom fields can be used in the chart analysis on the landscape to start grouping your results in a customized fashion. For example, if you the "Relevancy" custom field as a positive indicator to annotate patents that are the most relevant, you are then able to quickly visualize these patents on the landscape and start answering questions such as: "what areas of the landscape do these patents fall into?", "are these patents all present in the same area on the landscape? In which case, can I just select the relevant grids and generate a new landscape with only the relevant parts of the landscape?"