26 October 2021News
A New Horizon for Patent Strategy
There is no doubt that we are at the beginning of a transformative time for technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the world as we know it. Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence are set to radically change multiple industries and the patent ecosystem is no exception. Using these emerging technologies to register, manage, assess, and transact patents, opens a new horizon for the implementation of patent strategies. In the past, fundamental limitations and lack of answers resulted in unused patent assets, missed opportunities, and a waste of internal resources. Thanks to recent technological improvements, deploying a comprehensive patent strategy is achievable and owners can finally fully maximize their patent value no matter how you choose to do that—be it adoption, commercialization, monetization or other metrics traditionally associated with asset management and every other asset on your balance sheet.
It is estimated that intangible assets represent around 80% of the value of the S&P 500 . For most startups and technological SMEs, this percentage might be closer to representing almost the entirety of the company’s value. Because of the type of protection and rights they grant, patents are the strongest type of IP among those intangible assets. In a crowded and fierce technological market, patents protect inventions, provide solutions to technical problems, and allow for the quantification, evaluation, and use of innovation as a competitive and cooperative tool. Moreover, the current information age brings about a vast spread of technical knowledge and almost unlimited access by anybody from (almost) anywhere to the ideas, technologies, and company products being developed and commercialized all around the globe. This is driving the need for companies to have a vision for global patent strategy now more than ever.
The use of patents or their relevance for a company’s business has been extremely limited and inefficient due to, among other factors, the low quality of patent data, the impossibility to manage and extract (almost any) insight from patents, and the high costs associated with patent tasks. Underused assets are thus a result of the inability to assess in a meaningful and systematic way the strength and competitive position of patents. So much so, that quite often patents have been avoided altogether or filed for the sake of owning a given quantity of them, and a patent strategy has meant filing without a purpose beyond protecting some technical features of those technologies and products developed in-house, while barely dedicating any attention on the asset’s protection value or future exploitation. What this really means is no consideration for building a patent portfolio that has the potential of strengthening market competitive position, fostering, and even creating new business.
Another common issue arises from those patents that have been long forgotten and suddenly revisited within the company, often as a last resort to produce income. Unfortunately, in these cases, only a small number of portfolios can generate any kind of revenue because no substantial patent strategy was initially deployed so it becomes increasingly difficult that these patents, thought-out mostly for defensive purposes, end up having value beyond their in-house use. A second cause is the deficit of in-depth insight on the portfolio, its features and relations to other similar patent protections and market products. This lack of in-depth insight prevents sellers and licensors from accessing the full range of available opportunities, the most suitable path to a successful adoption, commercialization, or monetization, and how to best present to potential buyers, licensees and partners why they should acquire, license or cooperate regarding that specific patented technology.
Now AI-based patent analytics enable a much deeper assessment of the strength of both individual patents and portfolios, regardless of their size. They also provide a portfolio’s patent landscape, which reveals not only how this portfolio is positioned presently, but how new filings or acquisitions could claim new areas of protection that improve its scope and value in the future. In addition, the determination of a portfolio’s patent position supports and makes efficient the thorough analysis of the relationships between the intangible and related market products or services, which defines one of the key factors of patent value: market relevance.
Maximizing value of a patent portfolio is not only about monetizing patents. Patents are complex assets that are difficult for even patent experts to comprehend. For this reason, a good patent strategy must first be able to make the patent asset accessible. When the characteristics of a portfolio and its benefits can be successfully shown so that anybody can grasp them in a general business understanding, the portfolio can start producing value . Patents can substantially impact the capacity of a business for attracting investment or increase its stock pricing since the market and investors can better evaluate the worth of the company’s innovation.
Once this kind of sound knowledge of a portfolio is achieved and turned into insight, following a comprehensive approach for patent strategy, the use of its patent assets can be exploited to its full extent: the ability to identify and proceed with patent-specific strategies, enhanced adoption, commercialization and monetization, filing and acquisition strategies, the assessment of patent-related risk mitigation by detecting potential threats or actively pursuing business opportunities, support of patent-based funding, insurance and much more.
In the new horizon, patent strategies should be dedicated to making patents accessible while expanding protection value in a wide array of solutions. There it is time for patents to be all they can be.
Author: Raúl Diaz Morales, Vice President, Patent Advisory Services
Raul Diaz Morales’ experience in the patent business is profound, previously managing multidisciplinary teams in IP firms in Europe and always enjoying being at the intersection where business, technology and patent law meet. Now more than ever, Raul looks forward to finding projects and also new ways to utilize his extensive IP knowledge with patents, technology and helping IPwe’s clients find an innovative edge.
IPwe is quickly emerging as creating the industry standard for patent NFTs. IPwe recently announced its partnership with IBM to represent patents as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). IPwe also has a partnership with CasperLabs to further improve the patent registration process and create a chain of custody (CoC) Solution by using the Casper public blockchain to store, secure, and trace patent data, thereby creating a new approach to patent ownership verification. Patent NFTs are stored and shared on the IPwe Platform, running on the IBM Cloud and Blockchain services such as the Casper Network. IPwe anticipates tokenized IP to become commercially available in Q4 of 2021. IPwe operates in more than 50 countries with offices in Asia, Europe, North and South America. To learn more about how IPwe can provide the answers to your IP-related business decisions, Request a Demo of the IPwe Platform on www.ipwe.com.