An Introduction to Patent Monetization Resources for Corporations and Entrepreneurs

For corporations and entrepreneurs seeking to monetize their un- or under-utilized patent rights for the first time, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The patent monetization market is not yet mature and, as with other emerging marketplaces, no established methodologies and few experts exist to guide patent owners through the process. Today, there are as many as 17 different business models used to monetize patent rights. More will likely spring up as the market continues to evolve, even while some of the current models will certainly fall away. With such a range of options, it is not surprising that those seeking to sell their patent rights may be confused about what path to take. This blog post is intended to provide an overview of ways that a corporate and individual patent owners can most effectively monetize their patent rights in today’s market. The models discussed in this article were chosen because they are currently the most common. Significantly, due to the great variability in patents and the individual needs of patent owners, the best model for a particular patent owner might actually one that is not discussed here. Nonetheless, it is hoped that after reading this, a Continue Reading →

How a Patent Strategy Focused Only on Obtaining the Lowest Cost Patents May Reveal a Company’s Future Inability to Remain Viable

Commentators like me frequently rail against what we view as the often unnecessarily high cost of obtaining patent protection. In truth, many patents are overpriced and provide questionable business value to their clients. Over-priced patents do not form the basis of this article, however. Instead, this is about the opposite phenomenon, i.e., under-priced patents. Specifically, in this article, I describe a company’s desire to obtain low cost patents and what such a patent strategy may reveal about its long term viability. I was recently contacted by a large printer manufacturer (“PrinterCo” for the purposes of this discussion) to see whether I was interested in preparing patent applications for the price of $1300 each. This price seemed somewhat ridiculous to me because even the most “bargain basement” patent preparation prices that pop up on my Google sidebar advertising do not seem to dip beneath a threshold level of $2800. And, as a high level chemical patent prosecution attorney, I routinely drafted patent applications that cost $15K or more in 2005. PrinterCo’s desire to obtain patent applications for $1300 thus both surprised and intrigued me, and I wanted to learn more about what type of patent application its management sought for this Continue Reading →

Confessions of a Reluctant Convert to Electronic Patent File Management Systems & Why I Am Now a True Believer

For many years, vendors of office automation systems expended considerable effort trying to convince corporate and law firm patent attorneys to adopt paperless file management systems by touting the time and money savings associated with electronic files over the traditional patent file system. However, relatively few patent attorneys have done so, instead, remaining loyal to the traditional three-sided manila patent file folder. Until recently I was one of those patent attorneys. Now that I have discovered the vast efficiencies and improvements possible with these electronic systems, the question is why I remained true to this clearly outdated system of maintaining client patent prosecution records. Given the remarkable efficiency and knowledge management improvements possible with electronic patent file management systems, there can be no viable excuse for either corporate or law firm patent attorneys not to adopt such systems.In retrospect, I think I found that the heft and history represented by the partially filled patent file folder provided a feeling of ongoing accomplishment, even while I was contesting yet another trivial rejection from a patent examiner. The need for a tangible sign of my efforts prevailed over the backaches that I incurred from carrying multiple patent files to work on outside Continue Reading →