For an automated process, the overall steps in the above methods are used except that patent portfolio and technology/market comparable patents are both used to segment the company’s patents by category based on the technology/markets they serve and the size of the company’s position in that technology/market segment. An example is shown in the “Patent Portfolio Segmentation” figure.
To circumvent the shortcomings of the subject matter expert valuation schemes, the automated methods take into account the five different business uses of patents. This multistep, multiple viewpoint process ensures that no patent is unnecessarily maintained, licensed or discarded.
The process outline is as follows:
Segment the overall portfolio into groups appropriate for using best practices in intellectual asset management:
Software enhanced segmentation by technology subdomain is used to break-up the portfolio into groups that correspond to pure-play IP game management practices. These groups are then further segmented into five sub-segments for fast, high-quality decisions:
- A core technology portfolio to maintain and control internally for its ability to exclude others, protecting and sustaining the company’s advantaged commercial position in the marketplace
- Core and supporting technology portfolios to keep and control internally for their potential use in FTO counter-suit negotiations
- Portfolios to use for licensing-out for added revenues. Either “stranded technology” art to be licensed to anyone or “supporting technology” art to be licensed selectively.
- Unused and unusable portfolio art to prune for cost savings
- Emerging strategic portfolio art to be developed to protect new ventures’ and business’ ability to exclude others and to attract key development partners