More effective internal use of patents is usually the reason a company undertakes a portfolio mining process. But in addition the company may discover opportunities to: enforce patents against infringers(companies that are using protected technologies either deliberately or unwittingly); license out technologies that have value to other companies; seek complementary technology in order to round out a group of holdings; establish a strategic partnership with another business entity better positioned to exploit a given patent or technology; define standards or contribute to the establishment of standards; donate technologies to a charitable organization; abandon patents that serve no business interests.
In the “Portfolio Mining Flowchart” figure the traditional portfolio mining process is outlined which uses a team of subject matter experts and a patent committee for its execution. This works well for small companies or those with less than 50 or so patents. For organizations with larger holdings it’s beneficial to use automated methods to organize and select patents that belong in various groupings.