Yes, it is silly to suggest that a company should know its own patent portfolio. At the same time, many innovative companies have no idea what is actually in their patent portfolio. They don’t know what subject matter their patents cover. They don’t know which of their patents cover which of their products. And they usually don’t know which companies are infringing which of their patents. Unfortunately, these realities tend to manifest at the most inopportune of times, be it the threat of a competitor patent assertion, the sudden need for a portfolio valuation or an unexpected window to do a patent transaction. So, do the homework ahead of time, whether through analytics, competitor surveillance services, an IP advisor or good old sweat and tears. Only once a patent owner is armed with such knowledge can it begin to unlock the revenue potential of a portfolio.
Sagacious implements a concept of F3 Analysis with the intention of maximizing value from the complete patent portfolio. F3 analysis aims to provide macro level insights, while ensuring to generate value from each patent. The patent portfolio analysis involves gathering all of your current patent elements, products and processes for the purpose of:
- Evaluating your current portfolio of patents to determine:
- What patents are valuable enough to maintain or renew
- Actions that need to be taken regarding patents that are pending
- If there are any active patents that could be dropped, licensed or sold
- Maintain a competitive edge
- Identify cross-licensing opportunities
- Protect their clients against potential litigation
The patents are divided into three categories: Fundamental Patents, Future Patents, and Fringe Patents.
These are the core, and most important patents for any business. These are also called Product-Protecting Patents or Competition Covering Patents. These have the maximum potential to generate value using multiple strategies, such as licensing out, cross-licensing, litigation, etc. Other than revenue, patents can deliver strategic benefits, such as a strong contribution to a company brand’s reputation or position in the marketplace. If a company’s competitors are making moves, a robust patent portfolio helps them maintain a competitive advantage. These patents broadly benefit companies in:
- EASIER IDENTIFICATION OF PATENTS FOR LICENSING
- CROSS LICENSING NEGOTIATION
These are the patents which are not generating much value currently but have a high potential in the future. To ensure these patents generate optimum value, a company must keep a vigilant check on current market, while strategically prosecuting the open applications. Companies utilizes these patents in:
- STRATEGIC PROSECUTION by Draft Directed Claims
- PERIODIC CHECK to protect their IP and restrict competitors on day 1
These are the secondary/non-core patents, which have the least potential for value generation. Consider business segments outside of your strategic focus or possibly even low-value competitors in your own segment. These are the patents that are not used in any of the current products/services and represent technology that was pivoted at some point. BUT, it can also be worthwhile to investigate if a patent can be licensed for use by another party, which can turn an underutilized or unnecessary patent into a new source of revenue. This route may make sense when it comes to older technology or technology you’re no longer pursuing but may be of interest to someone else.
There are two major techniques to generate maximum possible value out of Fringe patents:
- PRUNING and saving maintenance/prosecution fee,
- LICENSING OUT relevant patents to start-ups, companies in a different domain. These patents can even be packaged with other patent sets.
Successfully managing your organization’s intellectual property requires more than just unleashing analysts and lawyers on public patent databases. For effectual patent portfolio management, innovative companies with a rich patent portfolio use a highly structured process of Evidence of Use (EoU) search to identify potential infringers of existing patents. This type of search, which typically involves patents used in commercial products with a large market presence, yields specific evidence that relates your patents to potential infringers’ products. If you are selling patent assets, proof of patent infringement can help strengthen the terms of the sale.
With F3 Analysis, Sagacious has delivered, a top 15 Fortune500 cloud infrastructure giant, with a portfolio of 10,000+ patent, with 170+ MAPPINGS (EoU), 100+ STRATEGIC PROSECUTIONS, and 100+ PATENTS PRUNED.