F3 Analysis – Future Patents
Topic: F3 Analysis – Future Patents
F3 Analysis is an award-winning solution from Sagacious IP for Patent Portfolio Optimization.
Effective patent portfolio management is the key to leveraging inventions to increase business value. Patent portfolios are normally full of high-value patents which help companies to unlock a new revenue stream and establish themselves as market leaders.
The F3 Analysis model helps companies categorize their patents into three major categories:
- Fundamental Patents (applicable to their current products or infringed by competitors).
- Future Patents (patents that may find application in their or competitors’ upcoming products).
- Fringe Patents (Irrelevant to their or competitors’ products but potentially revenue generating/ saving assets).
The concept of F3 Analysis originated with the intention of maximizing value from the patent portfolio of an organization. The patent portfolio analyzed using F3 Analysis can provide various benefits for the organization’s business. It helps an organization to gain insights into its patent portfolio by giving an accurate picture of its invaluable, prospective, and dispensable patent assets.
This helps the organization to take the decisions regarding the patents worth maintaining, the ones meant to be sold out or out licensed and the ones to be dispensed. Timely analysis of patent portfolio provided by F3 Analysis can provide huge value to businesses. The F3 Analysis model is currently deployed in U.S., European, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese companies with over 100,000 patents across the globe.
Future Patents (F3 Analysis)
Future patents are those patents that have high probability of implementation by competitors in future or corresponding to technologies currently under research. For example:
- If a product/feature is in beta release.
- If news releases or tech blogs indicate that a competitor is working on including new features or releasing a product that might be protected by your patents.
- If the feature can enhance the functionality of competitor’s product(s).
Future cases also include the patents have at least one family member under prosecution. This allows an inventor to file a continuation of the patent to improve the claims keeping both the potentially infringing products, and the patent specifications in sight. Open applications currently under prosecution with no granted family members are also part of future patents since an inventor can amend the claims to convert a future patent to a fundamental patent.
The most important step to generate value from Future Patents is to do a Directed Prosecution.
Directed Prosecution helps in maximizing the coverage by ensuring that anything and everything that is present in the specification is claimed.
Examples of Future Patents
FUTURE (OPEN APPLICATION/FAMILY)
A client had a claim where it seemed that the infringing product is a cloud service capturing snapshot of data volumes. The major targets could be different cloud services that are providing backup for their data volumes.
One of the claim elements reads, “pausing the I/O operation to have a consistent snapshot”. However, one of the competitive companies indicates that backup of storage volumes takes no downtime. It means I/O operations are executed on the storage volumes even during backup.
Favoring this, the spec also suggested that the snapshot of the storage volumes can be taken during the transient state of the storage volumes. Considering this, we recommended to draft new claims by removing this claim limitation. In this scenario, the application/family of the patent should be open, so that the client can file a continuation of the patent.
– Arshjot Gill, Manager – ICT Licensing and Rachita Goel, Asst. Manager – ICT Licensing