Patent Citation Trees for Freedom-To-Operate

Another way to check if the highly cited patents are of interest to potential competitors is to build patent citation trees as shown in the “Patent Citation Trees for Freedom-To-Operate” figure. In this graphic competitors can be color-coded and in so doing they stand out when they surround the merged company’s core patents. These color-coded graphics for right to practice show the uniqueness of the patent and how valuable it might be depending upon the merged company’s business interests.  If the patent is outside the scope of the new merged companies’ business plans, the patent may have an opportunity to be licensed out for royalty payments, thereby mitigating or influencing the value paid for the merger.