For art that is segmented into areas in which the core technology portfolio is likely to be used for exclusion of the company’s competitors, the strength of that art is assessed against other art in those specific markets using patent portfolio metrics. In the “Patent Portfolio Metrics” figure areas related to technical prowess, IP prowess geographic breadth, and ability to counter attack are assessed.
The primary purpose of patents obtained and held by for-profit corporations is to ensure a sustained advantaged position for the products and services they offer in the marketplace. Honorable competitors scan one another’s patents and published applications looking for new opportunities to exploit themselves in a way that does not violate the IP rights of others.
In a company’s existing patent portfolio, core technology portfolio(s) are kept for their ability to exclude others from introducing similar products that would erode their hard-won advantaged commercial positions in the marketplace. Typically, these portfolios are being continuously re-energized with new generations of technology and incremental improvements.
Each identified core technology portfolio is evaluated according to the benchmarked management practice metrics appropriate for that core technology’s IP game type. These metrics have been developed, published and validated in hundreds of client and public studies.
Areas in which each core technology portfolio surpasses the benchmark of all entities participating in the core technology area, or falls short, are identified. This can be seen in the “Core Technologies Portfolio’s Relative Strength” figure. Actions to fill the gaps identified by this process are incorporated into the appropriate internal R&D or external licensing-in groups’ strategic and tactical plans.
Knowing the areas in which each core technology portfolio surpasses the benchmark of all entities participating in the core technology area, or falls short, allows for solid IAM planning.
Sometimes, however, if a company has been lax in its strategic planning, or underinvested in R&D or licensing-in activities, it finds itself too short of resources to catch up quickly. In these cases, it is important to focus on the value chain of the company as and assess gaps vis-à-vis entities in the immediate commercial environment first.
The automated process runs evaluations on competitors with the same placement in the value chain, as well as entities who are suppliers and customers of that value chain’s products and services. Since competitors are typically looking for share gains, suppliers for exclusive sales revenues, and customers for price concessions, a company can assess which group to target first with its R&D and IP plans depending upon the company’s own sales, purchasing, and branding strengths. The company should ensure an Integrated IAM plan incorporates all these points-of-view into its action plans.