IP RADAR: Patent Mapping Approaches


In the last two decades we started to notice the seeds of arguably the two major disruptions in the automotive industry: electric vehicles and autonomous cars. And new words, such as mobility, connected cars have entered our lingo.

Innovators build on the innovations of their predecessors. As consumers we are often unaware that technologies that we use daily and take for granted can be traced to years, often decades back. More interesting is that it so happens that companies that make the technology commercially available are not always the pioneers who innovated them.

DeLorean (remember the car from “Back to the Future)

Let's get into DeLorean, we'll make a time travel from DeLorean time to Tesla Era. Be the witness of change in innovation through our animated video. Then we'll deep dive into different time intervals to see where you were able to take action and cover the landscape but not.

Start from DeLorean and Tucker Time

Let us recap what were the key innovations of both Tucker and DeLorean:


  • A perimeter frame and roll bar
  • Directional headlights
  • Collapsible steering column
  • Seat belts
  • Magnesium Wheels
  • Disc breaks
  • Continuous Variable transmission
  • Independent suspension


  • Fiberglass underbody
  • Stainless steel body
  • Gullwing frame
  • Elastic Reservoir Molding*
  • Wankel Rotary engine*
(*) Planned but not on the production vehicle

Patent maps provides valuable information on the technology landscape in a visual representation. Peaks indicate densely populated areas of patent development, while low-lying areas represent untapped areas for potential growth and expansion into new territories.

The landscape is a 3D representation of the patents in a technology space. The factors analyzed are verbal similarity and IPC commonality.

In 1966, the peaks become more evident. As a company at that time, you need to deep dive in the blue ocean landscape and identify the technology trends to determine your own R&D strategies. In this report, we'll just focus on Tucker, DeLorean and Tesla but if you continue analyzing the landscape you can easily access valuable data like new entrants, barriers, key players, most cited and valuable patents.

In 2011, it's obvious that something is going on in the field of electrical vehicles, battery management, thermal protections, electric motors, cooling systems etc. That's where you need to take serious actions to revise your R&D projects in order to survive.

If not, as seen 2018, landscape will be crowded and well covered by your competitors.

Now, peaks are more obvious and we're just focusing on TESLA's patents. What if we include other key players and position your own portfolio on the map. It will be a key reference for you to determine your actions.

The patent map shows how patent landscape change since Delorean and Tucker. Obviously, Tesla change the technology area with its disruptive innovations and business model. Dolar signs indicates the most valuable patent in the technology area. Hopefully, your patent portfolio will fall nearby.

The main questions is that if you were monitoring the landscape and recognize the trends and peaks, will you be investing to cover the landscape. We love to discuss how we can position your own portfolio and monitor your territory.

Innovators build on the innovations of their predecessors. As consumers we are often unaware that technologies that we use daily and take for granted can be traced to years, often decades back.

TLS.IP  is focused on  IP and innovation portfolio management, transactional & legal advisory services including litigation support as well as IP valuation for IP based transactions. 

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