Another question is “is the target company increasing their technology investment versus competition?” The answer to this question can be visualized in the “Merged Entities Investment and Portfolio Over Time” figure. In this figure number of patents and applications filed and issued for companies of interest are plotted as a function of the publication date of the document. This patent velocity report can thus look at groups of specific assignees to see the relative patent activity. In this case national starches continued a steady investment it’s gone up and down as a function of the business cycles. Fuller had a much smaller investment that may appear to be slightly increasing in recent years. Ashland on the other hand was really building their R&D and patenting efforts but then over the last decade pulled out. This chart is extremely informative when assessing merger and acquisition candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. In this case Ashland would not make a good partner as its key inventors and R&D capabilities clearly waned.