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Patent Mining: 3.5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Uncovering Hidden Gems

Patent Mining: 3.5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Uncovering Hidden Gems

 

When it comes to successful IP portfolio management, “patent mining” is one of those terms that suggests the promise of striking it rich from unearthed intellectual property.

However, the truth is that patent mining is no quick fix. The trick to patent mining is avoiding the pitfalls – a process requiring a lot of strategy and investment of resources to truly reap the potential (and possibly considerable) financial benefits.

Here’s how:

1. Don’t Let Your Patent Portfolio Grow Out Of Control

Knowing what you have in your patent portfolio is significant to uncovering the gems. Statistically, the majority of patents in your portfolio are not providing economic value, and are actually costing you money in maintenance and attorney fees.

Patent pruning allows you to identify and eliminate any unproductive intellectual property you own, and strategically align your patent portfolio to meet your core business objectives. Keep in mind: The process of patent pruning must be done very carefully.

To start, consider how each patent supports, defends or advances your market position. Assets not in practice, outdated technologies or any assets with existing litigation are all ready to be evaluated for possible pruning from your patent portfolio.

2. Avoid Using Automated Systems For Patent Mining

Often, automated systems are used for patent mining … a process that all too many outsourced patent reviewers implement. Automated systems are a pitfall of patent mining for the following three reasons:

• Glossing over potentially viable patents
• Not always locating core assets
• Inaccurately evaluating technology across multiple industries

For effective mining, you need a patent mining service that reviews your patent portfolio personally. It should also manually review thousands of patents and conduct extensive IP valuation to select the best assets that serve your company’s core objectives.

3. Beware Of Traveling Down The Patent Mining Rabbit Hole

Without the right strategy and background experience in patent mining, you could end up wasting hours upon hours of company resources sifting through patents, trying to find value.

Your team of engineers may not have the experience evaluating assets from a patent monetization perspective. They may not understand the current markets and how certain technologies in your patent portfolio may be applicable.

To avoid falling down the patent mining rabbit hole, you need to know exactly where technology is headed across a wide range of industries, and how any given patent in your portfolio applies to technology 10 years into the future.

3.5. Never Assume Your Patent Portfolio Is Full Of Gems

In a portfolio of 100 patents, a low percentage of those patents are often true gems. Simply put: Knowing when to stop investing time and resources into forcing value out of bad assets is important to successful patent mining.

As a strategic business practice, patent mining necessitates a serious commitment to active scanning and analysis of all patents that directly affect your company’s goals.

To tie technology development to your business strategy, partner with a strong patent firm that has decades of experience, meaning they are devoted to iteratively mining your portfolio.

The resources spent on efficiently and effectively conducting patent mining save you from wasting time and money on unproductive patents in your portfolio.

Ready to learn more about patent mining and making the most of your IP portfolio management? Contact the patent mining service experts at TechPats today.


Portfolio Analysis: 5 Investor Tips To Enrich Your IP Portfolio

How do you know when it is time to conduct a portfolio analysis for intellectual property protection?

 

Intellectual Property Consulting and ProtectionThe biggest factor indicating a need for analysis, when looking at your intellectual property portfolio, is if you recognize a giant gap between your expectations and reality. If you are consistently staring at your patent monetization expectations from across the void, it is definitely time to reevaluate your patent portfolio.

An IP portfolio analysis allows you to understand why your intellectual property is under performing. When you know what is going on and, more importantly, why it is happening, it is a great starting point for aligning your patent portfolio with your business goals.

The following five investor success tips are helpful for refining your intellectual property so your patent monetization efforts are fruitful.

1. Invest In Smart Patenting Processes

One way to ensure your patent portfolio is primed for patent monetization is to intimately understand and predict where innovations in your industry may be headed in the next five to 10 years. That is no small order, which is why it is smart to invest in a strategic patenting program.

Partnering with an ip consulting firm that is well versed in IP portfolio management protection assists you in strategically patenting technologies that hopefully develop and grow in value over time, so you are never wasting resources again.

2. File For Patents Quickly And Efficiently

The America Invents Act enacted in 2013 changed the U.S. patent system to a first-inventor-to-file system. What this means is that disclosing your invention to the patent office before a competitor is paramount for protecting a strong patent portfolio. Getting to the patent office first protects your investment in your portfolio.

As an investment strategy, in order to file for patents before your competitors, you need to stay on top of technologies and have insight into where your industry is likely going next. It is highly recommended that you partner with a proven intellectual property consulting firm that acts as your eyes and ears in the field at all times to ensure intellectual property protection.

3. For A Patent Acquisition, Consider Its Value Over Time

When it comes to enriching your patent portfolio, keep in mind that patents have a shelf life. It would be shortsighted to ask for future royalties for a license to use an expired asset.

To get the most from your investment, you almost always want to purchase intellectual property with an optimal shelf life. An industry-relevant patent with 15 years before its expiration date is normally more valuable than a similar patent with only three years left on it. However, keep in mind that the older patents have earlier filing dates and could likely be better suited to survive validity challenges.

4. Put In The Appropriate Amount Of Due Diligence

To be effective and meet your investment goals, IP portfolio management is a labor-intensive project. You need to know the market, the technology and the patent’s potential. You also need to have a good intellectual property protection firm on your side.

You must know when there is a possibility of patent infringement and when that can eventually lead to patent licensing or an infringement suit. Also, since not all of your patents are going to be cash cows, you may need to consider if pruning your portfolio makes the most sense long-term.

Partnering with an intellectual property consulting firm helps you identify potential infringers to pursue licensing and/or lawsuit strategies, or possibly even parties who could be interested in monetizing your under performing patents.

5. Do Something With It!

It is not likely that a competitor is going to approach you, hand you cash, and ask politely for a license to your patent. Owning a patent gives you the right to exclude others from making or using the claimed invention. Without at least considering exerting your rights, your patent is not worth much to anyone.

You get out of your patent portfolio what you put into it. When your patent application is granted or you acquire a new patent, it is important to have a strategy in place. Your plan may involve anything from making a product to enforcing your intellectual property through patent litigation.

Patents are not meant to be collectibles you put on a shelf to admire. Many people want to license their patents then sit back and collect royalties, but a licensing strategy is only feasible if you are willing to invest the necessary time and effort. The important thing is to keep your patent portfolio active.

If you are looking to better align your patent portfolio with your business investment goals, it’s time to conduct a portfolio analysis with the help of an intellectual property consulting firm. As you begin to understand your portfolio’s strengths and weaknesses, you are then able to set a strategic plan to get your intellectual property working in your favor.

Ready to learn more about portfolio analysis and how to apply investor tips to turn around your under performing intellectual property? Contact the patent portfolio experts at TechPats today.