5-Why, A Useful Tool


I learned a valuable tool '5-Why' on a training workshop led by Stu Lloyd from Hotheads-Innovation. I read a few articles and summarized the main points of 5-Why as below:

“If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the ABC of diagnosis. Only the inquiring mind solves problems.” – Edward Hodnett

5 Why is a problem solving technique pioneered by Toyota Motor Corporation. The 5 Why concept is simple. If problem solvers ask the question “Why?” five times successively, the root cause will present itself by the 4th or 5th Why. Often, the 5th Why points directly at the management systems and practices allowing the problem to exist.

Benefits of the 5 Whys
Help identify the root cause of a problem.
Determine the relationship between different root causes of a problem.
One of the simplest tools; easy to complete without statistical analysis.




infringement dispute 侵权纠纷
evaluation report 专利权评价报告
Patent Reexamination Board (PRB) 专利复审委员会
State Intellectual Property Office 国家知识产权局
domestic filings 国内申请
foreign filers 国外申请
valid patents 有效专利
life span 专利权期限
substantive examination 实质审查
formality examination 形式审查
application fee 申请费
examination fee 实质审查费
issue fee 专利登记费
novelty/ new 新颖性
inventiveness/ inventive 创造性
utility/ useful 实用性
applicability 实用性
reproducibility 再现性
beneficial 有益的
has prominent substantial features 具有突出的实质性特点
represents notable progress 显著的进步
has substantial features and represents progress 具有实质性特点和进步
Cooperative Patent Classification 合作专利分类
novelty search 查新检索
validity search 专利有效性检索
infringement search
Freedom To Operate(FTO) 自由使用权
due diligence 尽职调查
state of art 最先进技术
patent landscaping 专利布局
Patent Agent Qualification Certificate 专利代理人资格证
Patent Agent Work Permit 专利代理人执业证
conflicting application 抵触申请
making, having made, using 制造,使制造,使用
selling, offering for sale, importing, having imported 销售,许诺销售,进口,使进口
use the patented process 使用专利方法
products directly obtained/derived by the patented process 依照该专利方法直接获得的产品
all-element rule 全面覆盖原则
doctrine of equivalents 等同原则
prosecution history estoppel 禁止反悔原则
patent right exhaustion 专利权利用尽
rights of prior use 先用权
fulfilling administrative requirements 为提供行政审批
injunction 禁令
deferred examination 延迟审查
appeals 上诉
patent prosecution 专利审查程序
jurisdictions 司法管辖区
closest prior art 最接近的现有技术
grace period 宽限期
essential elements 必要的技术特征
Patent Cooperation Treaty 专利合作条约
European Patent Offic/ EPO 欧洲专利局
specific (lower level) term 具体(下位)概念
generic (upper level) term 一般(上位)概念
a person of ordinary skill in the art 本领域普通技术人员