Design Around Bundle Patent Portfolio Based on Technological Evolution
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Abstract Product innovation can be achieved by analyzing leading products patents in the market. Different methods have been proposed for design around patent, commonly using the elimination or replacement of a single patent element. However, the existing research fails to restore the position and function of the design around object in the original patent portfolio of enterprises, which often leads to the phenomenon of evading one patent and violating another. This paper proposes a method for design around patent through using the fusion of technologies of the evolution theory and bundle-type patent portfolio analysis in the initial stage of product development. The object system is analyzed to select technical opportunities through the evolutionary path of technologies and functional trimming methods to achieve circumvent barriers of bundle-type patents. The bundle patent portfolio is analyzed for the product evolution with a radar map. The technological evolution path is combined with the TRIZ innovation method to identify and solve the design problem. Patentability of the new design is evaluated using the patent system rules for innovative scheme difference from the original patent portfolio. The method is verified in a case study for the design of a glass-wiping robot. The design solution has been patented.