Purpose - The purpose of this study illustrates how to make good use of and predict the development trend of technologies in advance, and it will become a main factor for enterprises to seek advancement and plan their research and development strategy. Design/methodology/approach - This study proposes four prediction methods, and through using the provisional application patent data regarding thein computer communication domain is taken for caseas the basis of our analysis and demonstration. Findings - The demonstration and comparison prove that these methods can lead to quick and accurate prediction suggestions and be flexibly applied to academic and entrepreneurial practical operations. Research limitations/implications - Due to its lower cost and earlier priority application date, the U.S. provisional application has become a priority system for an increasing number of enterprises in patent application. The patents of provisional application feature with higher quality and earlier disclosure of patent data is suitable as a reference indicator for analysis and prediction.. Practical implications/Social implications -As the annual quantity of provisional application cases increase, more and more provisional application data will be accessed. Thus, it is necessary for enterprises to make use of the data as soon as possible to predict potential markets and development trends, in order to make early preparations for planning and seize business opportunities in the market. Originality/value -The value of this study lies in the use of patent information to predict technological market directions with potential, so that enterprises can invest resources and make plans in an earlier and appropriate manner, and thus, obtain the best strategic position for their future development.