The final tool to integrate intellectual property and business decision-making is that of a “Patent / Product / Revenue Table” as shown in the figure. This figure is created by integrating the financial information from the company books, with its manufacturing tracking system, and the patent / product information coming from its IP database into one unified report. This may easily be done today with most manufacturing resource planning tools. This chart shows for each patent how much of the company sales revenue is being covered. The portfolio team can see at a glance which patents are protecting revenue streams and which are not. Those not protecting revenue are subject to a decision to license-out, donation, or abandonment, as consistent with the USE and VALUE map positions.
The reason for using such a Patent / Product / Revenue Table is it there are some products that a company produces that are covered by patents that turn out to be unprofitable or have very low sales revenues. Protecting these products with expensive intellectual property is not a wise business choice. Thus although the patents may show on the USE grid they can be abandoned as it is not likely that competitors would want to spend resources to enter a small unprofitable market.
It should also be noted that many manufacturing resource databases can first be sorted by product profitability and product revenues. When this is possible it is recommended to do so. Once the rank ordered list is created, only the top 20% of products typically needs to be evaluated for their patent coverage. This is because for most companies the top 20% of products creates over 80% of the revenues. Applying business logic to the analysis processes can significantly reduce the time of implementation. Using insight like this is a one of the ways that makes integrating business and intellectual property processes easy and cost-effective to do.
A detailed set of flow diagrams and process steps used when integrating technology management, intellectual property and asset management, and competitive intelligence activities is provided in Chapter 15, Appendix I. Stage Gate and IP Integration Process Details.