Guest Blogger: How Patent Vulnerability Impacts Valuation by David Wanetick of IncreMental Advantage

(This week, David Wanetick, Managing Director of IncreMental Advantage provides readers if the IP Asset Maximizer Blog with an excellent overview of the various factors that he believes affect patent valuation.  Please let me know if you would like to be a Guest Blogger.) How Patent Vulnerability Impacts Valuation by David Wanetick of IncreMental Advantage As I often tell business leaders who attend my course on Valuing Early-Stage Technologies, valuing patents isn’t rocket science. It is much more difficult. Or to paraphrase Winston Churchill, valuing patents is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Measuring even a well-delineated permanent entity is much more difficult than may be imagined. As Neil deGrasse Tyson (a renowned astrophysicist) and Benoit Mandelbrot (the father of fractal geometry) have discussed, no one really knows what the circumference of the coastline of the United Kingdom is. The tides will cause varying degrees of erosion on the coastline depending on the hour of measurement while the cumulative affect of choosing which rock formations to measure around will have a dramatic impact on the final assessment of circumference. Patent valuation is infinitely more difficult to determine than the measurements of a given land mass due to Continue Reading →

A New Framework for IP Strategy Conversations: Ex Post vs. Ex Ante (from IP P®OSPE©TIVE)

(Editorial Note:  I have gotten some great feedback from my recent post 9 Out of 10 Patents are Worthless:  Here’s Why and How to Keep it Happening from You (Part 1 of 4).  I am working on the next installment, so be on the look out for more of my thoughts on this meaningful topic.) Readers of the IP Asset Maximizer Blog will probably enjoy this very smart post from Ian McClure of IP P®OSPE©TIVE entitled “A New Legal Landscape for IP:  Ex Ante will Join Ex Post Services“.  (While the post says some very flattering things about me, this is not why I am recommending it:  the IP P®OSPE©TIVE blog is consistently good, and Ian “gets” IP business issues.)  In this post, Ian frames IP Strategy in terms of “ex post” and “ex ante”–that is, instead of dealing with IP issues after it exists (i.e., ex post), IP Strategy addresses IP prior to its development in the course of developing value within the corporation as it relates to IP and intangibles. Ian McClure explains: [T]he IP legal profession has perhaps relied on [a post ante business model] to an even greater degree [than other lawyers], as the general lack Continue Reading →

9 Out of 10 Patents are Probably Worthless: Why and How to Prevent this from Happening to You (Part 1 of 4)

I decided to start 2010 with a controversial premise:  what if 9 out of 1o patents–or 90 %– issued in the US were worthless?  Believe it or not, but this probably is not too far off the mark.  By “worthless,” I mean that it is likely that only 10% of patents in force today meet each (and every) of the below criteria: 1)  The patent directly or indirectly protects a product or technology that is being sold in the market today; 2)  The patent covers a product or technology where there is or likely will be viable competition in the marketplace such that a patent is needed to legally restrain competition; and 3) The patent owner is ready, willing and able to bring a patent infringement suit against an infringer or it is likely that your competitor believes that it will possibly do so. Unless each and every criteria stated above are present, it is my strong opinion that the patent (or pending patent application) is effectively worthless as a business asset. If you are someone who views the world of patents from a business or corporate perspective, you might recognize where my 90 % figure comes from.   For most Continue Reading →