Patent Portfolio Optimization –
Keeping Your Patent Portfolios Relevant
IP managers constantly face IP budget constraints. Since maintenance of patents is a costly affair and IP budgets are fixed, patent portfolio pruning (or patent portfolio optimization) becomes an important periodic activity. Various business activities create redundancies in the patent portfolio. So, portfolio pruning needs to be done to maintain a portfolio that is aligned with the core business strategy so that maintenance and annuity fees can be saved.
The Patent Portfolio Pruning Process
This process involves an analysis of the currently active patents in a portfolio and classifying them as core, non-core patents. Mapping patents to end products and key research areas help in understanding the core patents that protect your business. IPC/CPC Mapping, technology clustering or topic maps in PatSeer can help in this mapping process. Quality metrics (like forward citations, IPC, CPC diversity of forward citations, patent family coverage, patent life cycle, etc.) help to get idea about the potential of patents. Patents that do not belong to the core of the business and those that are ranking lower on the quality metrics can be further studied to understand their claims, current market applicability of patent, future value / possibilities for the technology covered by the patent, whether the technology is being used by third-party products, whether the technology field is in demand, and a lot of research is going on in that area. Based on this analysis, patents that are non-core, lower in quality ranking can be considered for pruning. Also, if the process or technology protected by the patent is having a clear workaround, if a prior art has come to light that can invalidate the patent easily, or if a country, no longer holds any commercial potential for your product/technology, such patents can be considered for pruning.
Thus, having systematic approach to the portfolio pruning process and having right tools to support stages of optimization can help save time and keep portfolios aligned with business goals.
To know more visit – Patent Portfolio Pruning