Enforcing patents is one of the most potent ways to monetize IPs and if a robust patent enforcement mechanism is put in place it can reap great benefits to the owner. However, enforcing patents without meticulous analysis and planning could backfire your own investments and it could be a money pit where much of your hard earned money start drowning without giving you any returns.
In other words, a company needs to make a checklist as to whether the potential enforcement will generate some money or it will be a futile exercise. Thus, to help companies create an effective patent enforcement plan we underlined some important points those should be looked at before enforcing patents.
- Making a detailed list of infringing entities– A meticulous and well-planned patent enforcement process starts with creating a list of entities that are infringing our technologies. It can be achieved by taking a sharp look at each of the products that rolls-in in the market and studying the claims on which the product was built. Reverse engineering is another important tool which patent owners can use to determine if their technology is being used by their competitors or any other entity.
- Assessing costs involved with enforcement- Once you established that a particular entity is infringing on your proprietary technology, the next step would be to assess costs involved with enforcement. In this step we also analyze whether licensing could be an alternative to enforcement and if not, then why. Means whichever route you follow you should have ample reasons to substantiate it.
- Determining the time frame up-to which you will have to incur expenses- Once you determined the costs involved with enforcement or licensing, the next step would be to determine the tentative time frame up to which you will have to incur expenses chasing any of the two mentioned procedures. Determining the time frame is of utmost importance in this whole process because the real and exact expenses can be figured out only when you determine the time up-to which the process will continue.
- Calculating returns on investments- This is the last but most important step wherein return on investment is calculated after weighing the costs incurred and potential benefits that we can make. If the scope of benefits outweighs the incurred costs then it is a good reason to enforce patents otherwise not.
Enforcing patents should be a continuous approach and should not be treated as one time event as millions and millions of new patents are being filed and new products are hitting the shelf of the showrooms all over the world. In case you don’t have an in-house patent monetization team then the best option would be to hire experts who are skilled in this art.