Invention mining, also known as “invention harvesting,” is the art of engaging with an engineer or scientist to identify and capture inventions, including those that might otherwise go unrecognized. Inventions are the raw material of any patent program, so identifying a company’s inventions gives the company more choices for strengthening its patent portfolio and making the best use of its patent budget. Done well, invention mining is not disruptive to the inventor’s work and can generate significant return on investment.
The art of invention mining turns on the ability to ask the right questions, not only to uncover inventions, but also to overcome barriers that may be holding back their disclosure. In both respects, a little experience goes a long way.
Photo by Steve Jurvetson