Best practices in patent portfolio management are dependent on a number of factors, including the industry, technology, company, and personal risk tolerance. But by examining historical behavior, it is possible to find some commonalities among them that provide good general rules to go by. For overall portfolio management see the section in Chapter 13 on Patent Portfolio Assessment Processes. For new technology and business development projects several of the tools discussed in that Chapter can be used for a quick assessment of utility and value at early stages of the patent application process.

When ideas are submitted to the Corporation for consideration as patent applications, a couple of quick tests can be run. Two tests apply to all applications submitted, irrespective of whether they are proposed to cover products and services that will be new to the Corporation, or those it will cover improvements to existing product lines. A third test is applied just to those applications which will cover improvements to existing product lines.