The role of technical expert input
Automated IP analytic systems are not yet able to perform the deep technical analysis required to produce high quality technical analysis such as standards mappings, evidence of infringement and evidence of use. The approach of mapping patents to products or standards requires a detailed understanding of the patents claim language as well as the technology underlying the product.
Our experience shows that there are far too many weak mappings presented in the IP market place. Patents with little or no evidence of actual usage undermines patent transactions. Often analysis stretches patent claims well beyond their language wasting time and effort in downstream review by multiple parties.
Poor infringement analysis also adds unnecessary pressure from spurious claims for licensing, or threats of litigation.
Cubicibuc is a technical consulting firm specialising in intellectual property, with a core expertise in consumer electronics and telecommunications. We have the resources necessary to develop detailed evidence of use, and claims chart for standards based technologies. We have worked with clients submitting patents to patent pools; organisations looking to sell patents requiring evidence of use; and organisations looking to prove infringement in support of legal actions.
Patent quality and proxies for innovation strength
In the absence of evidence of use, or claims charts, patent metrics are proposed as a proxy for measuring or demonstrating the quality of patents:
- The pedigree of the applicant and inventors is considered important to many
- Forward citations. Normalising for age and perhaps discounting self-cites, forward citations can provide useful indications of innovation strength / contribution
- Claim breath. There is debate as to whether a strong narrow claim is “better” than a potentially weaker broader claim
- Prosecution history. Knowing who the examiner and prosecuting attorney were can give a perception of quality. Likewise the length of time in prosecution suggests something about the importance placed on the patent by the owner
- Age of the patent. Specifically age left to license or enforce, is a key metric for patent transactions
These are all useful metrics and are increasingly available in commercial patent analytics tools, either alone, or as a combined “strength” metrics.
While these metrics are useful to filter and prioritise large patent portfolios the biggest driver of patent value is how precisely the patent maps to deployed technologies and commercial products – infringement analysis.
Regardless of whether the patent is maintained for defensive purposes (to protect your own products and services) or aggressively against a third party, if the patent doesn’t read on to products then there is no value. Simply put, if a patent isn’t infringed then it has no purpose and no current value.
We believe good IP management allows business to protect its competitive advantage; to generate returns on R&D investment and to secure investment and finance. Modern businesses neglect their IP assets at their risk as poor IP management gives away value and reduces barriers to entry for competitors compromising the organisation’s capabilities.
To manage IP well business must adopt a combination of commercial, legal and technical expertise – but always with a pragmatic focus to actively manage and exploit the IP.
Cubicibuc supports its clients by:
- providing confidential and independent technical services to evaluate IP assets
- performing IP audits, patent mining and landscaping exercises
- developing IP strategies to support commercial negotiation, licensing and litigations
- providing independent technical expert reports
We work with businesses ranging from smaller start-ups to mature multinationals; from early stage invention capture through to exploitation and monetisation of IP assets.
To discuss how Cubicibuc’s expertise can help your organisation manage and exploit IP, please contact us now.