Blurring the line between bioinformatics and patent analysis ☆
Biological patent analysts are often faced with querying multiple databases of sequence and text. After retrieving the query results, the results must be analyzed by reviewing patents and applications in a form of manual data reduction. Once families are identified for final analysis, the analyst must expand back out, looking at the members of those patent families. Again, sequence and text is reviewed manually, not algorithmically. One way for patent analysts to reduce the number of repetitive tasks performed is through the creation of macros. Such macros can be used for time-consuming tasks like global formatting, searching and replacing within a document, formatting extracted sequences into FASTA, or even converting three-letter amino acid code into single-letter code. Another way for a patent analyst to reduce repetitive tasks in biosequence patent analysis is through an alliance between biological patent analysts and bioinformaticians. Such an alliance could result in the development of tools that focus on these types of repetitive tasks. A bioinformatician is skilled in looking for solutions to various repetitive tasks. Such a solution could even be packaged and deployed to those colleagues who would benefit from access to such a time-saving program. Finding a way to automate repetitive tasks will free the patent analyst to spend more time on intellectual analysis of the results.
► Bioinformatics tools can be developed to assist patent analysts. ► Repetitive tasks in biological patent search can be assisted by creating macros or other tools. ► Simple examples of useful macros to automate tasks of formatting and conversion of amino acid codes are given.
Journal: World Patent Information - Volume 33, Issue 3, September 2011, Pages 257–259