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Patent analysis for analysing technological convergence

Matti Karvonen (Department of Industrial Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland)
Tuomo Kässi (Department of Industrial Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 30 August 2011




Fusion of new technologies and convergence has led to the emergence of new industries. This paper aims to present experiences of the concept of convergence from a patent citation analysis viewpoint. The main objective of the paper is to develop a tool for anticipating the emerging new industry segments.


The patent analysis methods have been used to get an idea of the stage of new industry segment in the intersection of the paper and electronics industries. The authors distinguish self‐citations from external citations, and further divide citations into two groups: within the industry and beyond the industry. Backward citations are used to evaluate the spill‐overs between industries and forward citations are used to evaluate the significance of technology‐based industry transformation.


The recognized trends of the trajectory changes and growing overlaps of technological fields show indications for possible convergence between industries. Differentiating between external and self‐citations within and beyond industry citations helps to provide more comprehensive prospects of a future technology competitive environment.

Research limitations/implications

This study evaluated technology development in converging environments. It would be a scientifically significant contribution if the novel patent analysis methods could be used effectively for creating understanding in advance about the technology development and industry convergences.


The presented patent citation methodology provides new insights into the analysis of industry evolution, technological innovations and business development related to converging industries and technologies.



Karvonen, M. and Kässi, T. (2011), "Patent analysis for analysing technological convergence", Foresight, Vol. 13 No. 5, pp. 34-50.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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