Introduction : An attempt to synthesize revenue or earn a profit by selling or licensing patents to another person or any organization is referred as patent monetization. There are different ways to earn money through monetization, such as simply earning money from patent inventions or generating revenues by buying or imposing patents against one or more suspected infringers, etc.
The process of monetization takes place once a patent is granted to the inventor.
It follows a very basic four-step cyclic process, which is briefly described below.
- Identification: It starts with the identification of saleable patents assets, which includes analyzing the marketplace strategy, identifying the most significant asset in accordance with the market strategy, and identifying infringers according to the potential technological area.
- Valuation: It starts with a preliminary Valuation of the patent asset marketing which means carrying out a judgment, estimation or an asset’s insight about its worth by an experienced professional to decide whether to proceed for monetization or not.
- Planning and Execution: Once the monetization asset is fixed, then a team of professionals will assimilate the information gathered. The team will then work on one or more strategic plans until they find the most suitable one to execute.
- Finalization: Once planning is done, the execution of the recommended strategies is performed which involves the legal prosecution of the deal by government representatives.
Common Patent Monetization Mistakes
Patent monetization has become the most successful way for many people, organization, and businesses for making tons of revenue. Yet, there are a number of mistakes that are often made in one way or the other that may cause huge loss as well. The effects may vary in terms of money as well the time indulged depending upon the technological background, the patent is concerned with.
Some of the most common mistakes are listed below in detail:
- Strategy selection: There are plenty of monetization strategies (no generalization possible) available in the market that must be wisely chosen according to the technological background of the patent and the inventor’s skills. Even choosing a monetization strategy requires some sort of investment and a lot of patience, which must not go in vain. It completely depends on the inventor or the owner to choose from the below-listed ways of monetization:
- Licensing: It means allowing a skilled infringer to use, manufacture, or market the invention to earn royalty amount. Learn all about Patent Licensing in detail, through our another article.
- Litigation: It means that the inventor may bring an infringement lawsuit and ask for monetary damages from the court, if he/she cannot strike a royalty deal, or want to impose their right to exclude an infringing competitor. Learn more about Patent Litigation in detail.
- Acquisition: It means that the patent owner finds a potential and skilled partner, with whom he/she can share the license and litigation clause.
- Systematic Valuation: IP Valuation means getting to know the patent’s worth in a realistic sense. It includes an in-depth knowledge of the current market, the necessity of the patient’s core functionality with respect to the market, type of invention (incremental or transformational), the cost of acquisition, the evidence of use, etc. The valuation process is the most significant and complex process that requires efficient inputs from both skilled technical advisers and the lawyers. Therefore, extreme care could prevent wrong interpretations that might mislead the invention’s approach towards the market.
- Market and Industry Analysis: It means patent analysis by considering comparable patents on the basis of similar market transactions to evaluate the utility and technological specificity of the patent.
- Potential Buyers: A deep understanding and knowledge about the potential or the suitable buyers, and the suitable ways to attain their focus, is required to make a profit from the monetization. For this, advice must always be taken from an experienced and well-skilled patent brokerage to wisely choose between the partners and the defenders in the market. Adding on to this fact, Citation analysis produces a list of companies that own patents and the patent applications that cite the patent, which may or may not be proved in the inventor’s favor. More-highly cited patent covers core technology available in the market. The citations basically refer to a patent’s specification and not necessarily the claimed subject matter. There can be a plenty of reasons due to which patents are cited and there are no straight and simple ways to know which functionalities were referenced or which owners are practicing any or all of the cited features. Therefore, citation analysis is not at all a reliable source to judge the clients since one cannot trust a list produced by online software. Instead, a choice must be based on proper understanding and knowledge of the subject matter claimed in the patent.
- Efficient Consultant: It is better to take advice from an efficient, skilled, and experienced IP consultant who could help in complex processes, such as IP valuation, patent litigation support, revenue strategies, buyer identification, patent codes, technological knowledge, patent laws, and studying worldwide databases to enhance the inventor’s work value and quality at the same time in front of public. Without detailed insight about the market, public point of view, and technical knowledge, the monetization can no longer move forward in profitable hands.
- Restlessness: A very common and small mistake is to become impatient. It is very important to understand and keep in mind that the monetization process is very slow in nature and it must be done wisely. Otherwise, this mistake can cause huge damage to money and the patent holder.
Hence, by avoiding these common mistakes patent owners can earn much more profits and their patent can reach to its full monetary potential.
Incorporating the right patent monetization strategies can open a new way of earning revenue directly from the technology patent. The five best patent monetization strategies are described below in detail:
- Acquisition: The best way to earn a maximum profit is to attain the signature or key patents for a particular technology. This provides more control of that technology providing diverse income sources, such as for building and marketing new products, providing license, and implementing the patents as a base for study. But, one must be very careful while acquiring the patent, since one wrong move could ruin the growth of the revenue stream.
- Filing: Another possible way to gain profit is to develop the intellectual property and technology patents in-house, using patent filing approach with robust invention disclosures in a crowd of next-generation technologies. Innovating and patent filing can provide an edge over the competitors, thus granting an early entry into the markets.
- Licensing: It is the most reliable patent monetization strategy that involves the gathering of licensing fees from a person or an organization who utilizes the patent or any business assets in any possible way. It is much better than the litigation since this involves less cost and time for legal procedures.
- Sales: Another way of earning is from non-core or excess patents which hold a long-term or strategic value, that may be less than its maintenance costs, but still can provide a source of revenue. But care must be provided in properly inspecting for possible monetization opportunities (even outside the country) before selling the assets.
- Enforcement: Another possible way of earning is reporting for un-authorization on patent infringement, despite the fact that it consumes greater time and legal expenses. Some factors must be considered before using patent enforcement strategies, such as the costs, total time of licensing and enforcement, the infringing entities, and the time frame for return of investments.
It is desirable that right approach and knowledge must be acquired before opting for any patent monetization strategy since each one of them involves its own risks and benefits for different technological background. But choosing the right direction will enhance the level of revenue streams for taking the business to another level.