How Patent Infringement Analysis Protects Your IP
And 3 Action Steps To Put Your IP Protection In Place
Right now, your competitor might be infringing on your patented technology. Not only is their infringement wrong and illegal, but they are also profiting on your proprietary assets. This behavior might go on for years without your knowledge, unless their infringement becomes blatant.
Fortunately, your patents do not have to serve their profits.
Protecting your intellectual property (IP) starts with discovering what you have in your patent portfolio. Then, you need to conduct a patent infringement analysis to better inform your IP protection strategy. Also, a competitive analysis of each patent, along with its potential infringers, dictates your overall monetization approach, which is essential to protecting your IP.
Here are three action steps to take to begin your patent infringement analysis and safeguard your intellectual property:
1. Mine Your Patent Portfolio
Start by examining your portfolio of patents. Rate each patent according to a pre-defined monetization system and allow the best opportunities to rise to the top. By mining within your own portfolio, you might discover a diamond in the rough: that single untapped opportunity that shows a tremendous potential for profit.
Patent mining is a critical step to IP protection, because without first evaluating your portfolio, you might chase after the wrong patent infringement opportunity – one that may yield little return on your IP. However, prioritizing your monetization opportunities allows you to pursue the IP protection strategy certain to yield the best return.
2. Select Your Best Assets
After you have mined your IP portfolio, it is time to start proper patent infringement analysis. First, you need to identify potential or suspected infringers of your patents. Do not just examine your industry competitors though: A number of potential patent infringers might be operating in industries other than your own, so be sure to survey other industries for suspected infringers as well. Then, select the patents in your portfolio that meet at the nexus of maximum monetization and most widespread potential infringement.
For each of these key patent assets, you need to document a solid Evidence of Use (EoU), which demonstrates how a competitor is currently infringing on your IP. An EoU particularly focuses on how the technology covered by your patent generates a profit for your competitor. If you plan on taking an infringement case to court, you need to make sure your EoU takes the form of a litigation-ready claim chart.
3. Take Bold Action To Protect Your IP
Of course, the best patent infringement analysis is useless unless you take action to protect your IP. With your best assets identified and strong EoU documented, you need to execute your monetization and IP protection strategy. Otherwise, your competitors may continue to profit on your technology – without paying you a dime.
There are two main approaches to take for patent protection: For the first approach, you might use your EoU documentation to approach competitors for a licensing opportunity. If your case is strong enough, a licensing strategy is often more profitable, because you do not incur many costs in time or legal fees. The other approach is through IP litigation. While more costly in time and legal expenses, the consequences of litigation are more binding and enforceable. As with any lawsuit, ensure that you have the right technical IP litigation support necessary to produce your desired results in the courtroom.
Whichever approach you take for your IP protection, the insight provided by an in-depth patent infringement analysis is priceless in excavating the best patents in your portfolio. By capitalizing on these hidden gems, you not only start better protecting your intellectual property, but you also start turning those unused patents into profit for your business.
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