Summary:  In this section on portfolio management, the primary use of patents was assumed to be their role in sustaining an advantaged competitive position. In some industries, this is not the case.  For companies whose business model is specifically out-licensing, or when a company needs a large and active patent portfolio to influence regulatory or industry standards bodies, the need for patents to do so is different than described above.

Knowing the priority of the five business uses of intellectual property for each industry segment is important in selecting the right portfolio pruning criteria. Guidelines for the best patent family and portfolio criteria vis-a-vis industry segment can be found in the intellectual property game matrix developed by Intellectual Assets, Inc. This high level view is a good starting point in understanding which industries can best use the portfolio management techniques described above.

As mentioned before, a single patent may have value for only one of the five business uses, but more typically they have value in multiple areas. It is this complexity that makes portfolio management an exercise best done with extensive software support and professional guidance.