TechPats

267.880.1720

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.


Patent Mining: 3 Tips To Successfully Navigate The Crowded IP Marketplace

Patent Mining: 3 Tips To Successfully Navigate The Crowded IP Marketplace

 

navigate crowded marketplaceDo you want to make marked improvements to your company’s bottom line while also maximizing shareholder value? Patent mining, coupled with methods for extracting value from your IP portfolio, is capable of producing very positive results.

Fifteen years ago, corporate income from patent licensing in the U.S. was at $15 billion. Today, the sum of U.S.corporate income that results from patent licensing exceeds $100 billion.

An effective patent mining program involves searching for valuable opportunities for your intellectual property, such as:

  • New applications of technology
  • New markets for the technology
  • Extensions of the technology
  • Patent infringement candidates
  • Hot technology or divisions for joint ventures

Portfolio assessment and patent mining is a proven process for uncovering the hidden gems within your IP portfolio. However, you need to avoid the pitfalls when attempting to successfully navigate the crowded patent mining marketplace.

The following three tips help to ensure you take the most solid path for patent mining that results in profitability:

1. Know The Processes Of Patent Mining

Patent mining may be done manually or automatically – both process have their shortcomings.

Automated tools are not a guaranteed strategy for patent mining, as there is no way to ensure that no stone is left unturned. These tools often miss applications of a technology across other industries. Manual patent mining is a very deliberate, thoughtful process, but it takes a long time, and is therefore also an expensive process.

The most beneficial patent mining process for uncovering your intellectual property gems is to partner with a firm that has a proven method of iteratively mining IP portfolios.

2. Understand That You Get What You Pay For

The CFO of your firm might find cost-containing appeal in cheap offshore patent mining services. However, offshoring your IP services comes with many issues:

Does the offshore organization follow processes to maintain confidentiality and have a sufficient amount of insurance coverage? Are they current with U.S. case law? This list of questions concerning the practices of offshore patent mining goes on and on…

The point is, with offshore patent mining, you receive no guarantee that those miners have anywhere close to decades of industry experience or comprehensive knowledge of a technological space.

3. Look For A Firm With Balanced Patent Mining Experience

It is important to ensure the firm you partner with for patent mining and portfolio assessment employs talented people with years of experience.

A great question to ask any intellectual property consulting firm is if their talent is in-house or through contractors. If the consulting firm employs an endless army of patent mining contractors, those contractors may work to a different set of standards from your own.

The potential to mine gold from your IP portfolio is great. But, you must partner with the right intellectual property consulting firm: one that approaches your portfolio assessment and patent mining with hard-won expertise.

A proven track record, along with a comprehensive approach to patent mining, ensures you are going to extract the most income for your company in the most efficient manner.

Ready to learn more about a capable intellectual property consulting firm that puts into practice the best methods for patent mining? Contact the patent mining experts at TechPats today.


5 Patent Monetization Mistakes That Could Cost You A Fortune

5 Patent Monetization Mistakes That Could Cost You A Fortune

Patent monetization has emerged as a promising way for many businesses to generate a significant amount of revenue. However, there is no single, guaranteed strategy, and determining exactly which path to take when attempting to monetize any one given patent is never clear-cut.

When it comes to patent valuation and efforts to monetize your intellectual property, there are plenty of possible mistakes to make along the way. If you want to get the most value for your patent, try to avoid the following five mistakes.

  1. Not performing an IP valuation, or not acting on it at all.
    If you do not know what your patent is worth, how are you going to monetize it appropriately?

    The IP valuation process requires an in-depth understanding of the market, industry that directly affects the value of your patent – as well as related industries. One of the first steps in patent valuation is assessing the necessity of the patent’s underlying invention to products and services in the market. For instance, is the claimed features core to your industry and widely used to generate revenue? Or, is the subject matter of your patent a minor function that is easily designed around to solve the same market demand?

    Is your patent a transformative invention or an incremental invention?

    In any case, to assess your patent’s worth, you want to also examine the state of the art at the time of invention, if possible. This means determining how your patent may be different from or innovative over other similar, contemporary patents.

  2. Not having the right patent monetization strategy.
    Once you have conducted a patent valuation and understand the strength of your patent, the next step is to extract the value and get that patent generating revenue.

    Patent monetization generally happens in one of three ways:

    • Patent licensing: In return for a negotiated royalty, patent owners allow a potential infringer to develop, manufacture and/or market the claimed invention.
    • Patent litigation: When patent owners cannot strike a royalty deal, or want to enforce their right to exclude a competitor from infringing behavior, owners may bring a patent infringement lawsuit and ask the court for monetary damages.
    • Patent acquisitions: Sometimes patent owners find a suitable buyer who offers the right price, at the right time and in the right situation. A potential partner may want to share the risk of licensing and litigation, or a buyer may even offer you a license to continue using the invention.

    These options are far more intricate and complex than they first appear on their faces and are often part of the same strategy.

    For instance, licensing negotiations could break down and a lawsuit may be initiated to bring the parties back to the table, or a multi-year lawsuit could end in settlement of a non-exclusive license and a hefty annual royalty.

    When making goals, you must remember that all strategies require at least some investment and a fair amount of patience.

    Do you want to try to recover your investment via licensing your patent, attempt to secure a competitive advantage by excluding a competitor or begin to build recognition as an innovative leader by developing a larger portfolio? The end goal for your patent monetization effort helps determine your strategy, but a solid patent monetization strategy should be able to adapt.

  3. Not thoroughly analyzing the market and industry.
    Patents are often very complex, and IP valuation is an extremely detailed process that requires the input of both lawyers and expert advisers with specific technical knowledge.

    Market-based patent analysis takes into consideration similar market transactions of comparable patents. This process may also evaluate utility and technological specificity, along with the market perception of the patent.

    Look at your potential competitors and determine if your technology is being applied. Also, consider other industries where your patent may have crossover appeal. You do not want to leave any stone unturned!

  4. Not choosing the right targets for patent monetization.
    It is not uncommon for businesses to have difficulty identifying companies to approach about monetizing their patents. Depending on the technology of your patent, there could be hundreds or thousands of companies to consider. Identifying the right companies for patent monetization is complex and time-consuming.

    Some patent monetization strategies start with citation analysis to discover what companies own patents and patent applications that cite your patent. This may not always be good for your specific monetization needs. The theory behind citation analysis is that a more-highly cited patent would cover technology that is core to the market. Citation analysis could potentially yield a list of companies who own patents that cite your patent and may be supplemented with corresponding products and services that infringe your patent.

    However, reliance on citation analysis may also be misleading because the citations refer to a patent’s specification and not necessarily the claimed subject matter. Patents can be cited for a number of reasons during the application process and there are no simple ways to determine which features were referenced or which owners are practicing any or all of the cited features. Unfortunately, citation analysis is not capable of producing “magic lists” that identify and rank potential targets, without human intervention.

    Therefore, choosing the right targets to approach for licensing discussions or potential lawsuits should be based on an intimate understanding of the subject matter claimed in your patent. Because claims are the only enforceable part of the patent, choosing potential targets for a patent monetization strategy can only prosper with claims-based analysis combined with expertise in the industry and in-depth knowledge of the market. It is wise to use caution when considering any lists of targets produced by software alone.

  5. Not having an experienced IP consulting firm to package all of this together.
    Patent monetization is a complicated landscape to navigate on your own. For instance, IP valuation, revenue strategies, patent litigation support, and buyer identification are all practiced in an intricate world of patent codes, laws and worldwide databases. Not to mention, the various technologies can be difficult to grasp, sometimes, as well.

    Partnering with an experienced IP consulting firm with on-hand experts is vitally important for getting the right advice on how to effectively maneuver all of your patent monetization efforts.

Conducting a successful patent monetization process requires the proper knowledge and experience in the area of your intellectual property. Without deep-detailed information about the companies and patents being offered on the market, you have no framework for moving forward in a strategic and meaningful way.

Making critical mistakes in how you go about patent monetization could end up costing your business a lot of time and money.

Ready to learn more how to enhance your patent monetization efforts and jumpstart significant revenue generation for your business? Contact the Patent Miners at TechPats today.