Framework of mechanical design knowledge representations for avoiding patent infringement
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Jiang, Pingfei; Atherton, Mark; Harrison, David; Malizia, Alessio
Institution: Brunel University, United Kingdom
Section: Design Information and Knowledge
Nowadays companies strive to stay competitive in the market by introducing innovative products and protecting their Intellectual Property by filing patents. However, with an increasing number of patents granted each year, designers face challenges in producing novel designs and patentable inventions such that early identification of potential patent infringement can help them to steer their design away from future litigation and towards a patentable novel solution. This paper presents a framework for representing mechanical design working principles contained in existing patents by developing the Function Analysis Diagram (FAD) and a domain-specific ontology. The developed FAD, named FAD+, provides design insights including device architecture, design features and the functional interactions amongst them. The ontology formulates patent knowledge representation and conceptualisation, which contributes to comparison of an emerging design to existing patents. Overall, the framework enables designers to obtain in-depth understanding of patents, increase their qualitative IP awareness and help them to identify potential patent infringement during the product development process.