A patent portfolio is a collection of patents belonging to a single entity or a group of entities. A strongly formulated patent portfolio may have a number of different strategic purposes, including the:
- protection of research and development areas;
- strengthening of a company’s position in the market;
- generation of revenue; and
- advancement of mutually beneficial cross-licensing or settlement agreements.
Patent portfolio strategies will be company specific, and are very much dependent on the market and IP budget. For example, a patent portfolio benefits companies developing new products, helping them defend against larger, rival companies.
Patent Portfolios for established companies
On the other hand, companies with significant financial resources may adopt a strategy of purchasing or invalidating patents owned by other parties. The value of a corporation's patent portfolio can also be a substantial source of revenue for a company. For example, IBM generates almost $1 billion annually from licensing its patent portfolio, which currently consists of over 40,000 active patents worldwide.
Large companies may contemplate patent pools, whereby two or more companies form an agreement to cross-license their patents relating to a particular technology. The formation of a patent pool can mitigate the time and costs of research and development, and of course litigation.
Patent Portfolios for start-up companies
If you are a start-up company, there may be many strategies to consider, dependent on a number of factors such as time and money. For example, development of an effective patent portfolio may require a compromise between obtaining as many patents as possible, and obtaining only a certain number of patents with the greatest prospects. In both circumstances, the patents should be relevant to the particular products and technologies and in line with business objectives. Licensing opportunities should be taken into consideration.
Links to Helpful Sites
- Baxter IP: Licensing — information about licensing.
- Commercialisation Australia — Commercialisation Australia is an Australian Government initiative that assists researchers, entrepreneurs and innovative companies to convert ideas into successful commercial ventures.
- Austrade — Austrade is an Australian government agency that assists Australian businesses contribute to national prosperity by succeeding in trade and investment, internationally, and promoting and supporting productive foreign investment into Australia.
- Innovation NSW — Innovation NSW is the NSW Government's online Innovation Advisory service, offering services and programs designed to assist inventors and innovators develop their bright ideas.
- IP Australia Commercialization Strategies Factsheet — a page outlining the various commercialization strategies available.
- business.gov.au — a government service providing essential information on planning, starting and running your business.
- Australian Institute for Commercialization — AIC provides innovation and collaboration services that help organisations grow.
- Patent Search Online — service for discovering whether your idea is patentable
- Patent Attorney Directory — current information on main Australian patent attorney firms
- Baxter IP — the international website of Baxter IP, Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys.
Important Disclaimer: The information on this website is not legal or professional advice. The information may:
- not be correct;
- only relate to the law or practice in a given country; and/or
- be outdated.
For more information, please contact the Site Administrator: Baxter IP.