Tech mining is an analytical method of technology monitoring that can reveal technology trends in different industries. Patent databases are the major sources for information retrieval by tech mining methods. The majority of the commercially viable research and development results in the world can be found in patents. The time and cost of research and development can greatly be reduced if researchers properly analyze patents of prior arts. Appropriate analyses of patents also help firms avoid patent infringement while simultaneously developing new products or services. The main path analysis is a bibliometric method which can be used to derive the most dominant paths in a citation network of patents or academic works and has widely been adopted in tracing the development trajectory of a specific science or technology. Even though main path analysis can derive patent citation relationships and the weight associated with some specific arc of the citation network, the weights associated with patents and influence relationships among patents can hardly be derived based on methods of main path analysis. However, these influence relationships and weight can be crucial for defining research and development and patent aggregation strategies. Thus, the authors want to propose a novel analytic framework which consists of the Decision-Mak-ing Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL), the DEMATEL based Analytic Network Process (DANP) and the main path analysis. The proposed analytic framework can be used to derive the influence relationships and influence weights associated with the patents in a main path. Empirical cases based on the main path of a published work and the patent mining results of nanowire field effect transistors from the database of the United States Patent and Trademark Office will be used to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed analytic framework. The analytic results of empirical research can be used as a basis for infringement evaluation, patent designing around and innova-tion.
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