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Patent Portfolio Pruning - What? Why? How?

Patent portfolio pruning is the process of evaluating and eliminating patents from a company's patent portfolio that are no longer relevant, valuable, or useful to the company's business strategy. It involves identifying patents that have low market potential, are not aligned with the company's current business focus, or are not cost-effective to maintain.


The goal of patent portfolio pruning is to reduce the size of a company's patent portfolio to a more manageable and efficient level. This can help companies save money on maintenance fees and other costs associated with managing a large patent portfolio. It can also help companies better focus their resources on patents that are more likely to generate revenue or provide strategic value. Apart from that, patent portfolio pruning can be a valuable tool for companies during a recession, providing cost management, strategic focus, competitive advantage, licensing and monetisation opportunities, and portfolio optimisation.


Patent portfolio pruning can be a complex and time-consuming process that requires a thorough understanding of a company's business strategy, industry trends, and patent landscape. It may involve analyzing patent data, conducting patent searches, and working with patent attorneys to evaluate the strength and value of individual patents. In this article, we discuss why do you need patent portfolio pruning, points to consider while pruning your portfolio and how to prune your patent portfolio.


Why do you need patent portfolio pruning?

Companies need patent portfolio pruning for several reasons, including:


Cost Management

Managing a large patent portfolio can be expensive, as it involves paying maintenance fees, legal fees, and other costs associated with maintaining patents. By pruning their patent portfolio, companies can reduce these costs and save money.


Strategic Focus

As a company's business strategy evolves, some patents may become less relevant or valuable. By pruning their patent portfolio, companies can ensure that their patent portfolio is aligned with their current business focus.


Competitive Advantage

Patents can provide a competitive advantage to companies by protecting their intellectual property and preventing others from using their inventions. By pruning their patent portfolio, companies can focus on protecting their most valuable and strategic inventions.


Licensing and Monetization

Patents can also be licensed or sold to generate revenue. By pruning their patent portfolio, companies can focus on licensing or monetizing their most valuable patents.


Portfolio Optimization

Pruning a patent portfolio can help companies optimize their portfolio by eliminating weak or low-value patents and focusing on their most valuable patents.


What to Consider Before Pruning Your Portfolio?

Before starting the patent portfolio pruning process, there are several points that a company should consider to ensure that it is done effectively and efficiently. Some of these points include:


Business Strategy

A company should consider its current and future business goals and objectives to determine which patents are still relevant and aligned with its strategy.


Patent Landscape

Companies should assess the patent landscape in their industry to identify potential infringements and patents that may no longer be valuable or enforceable.


Market Potential

Companies should evaluate the market potential of each patent and determine which patents have the potential to generate revenue or provide strategic value.


Cost Effectiveness

Companies should assess the costs associated with maintaining each patent, including maintenance fees, legal fees, and other expenses.


Licensing Potential

Companies should evaluate the licensing potential of each patent and determine which patents are most likely to be licensed or sold.


Competitive Advantage

Companies should assess the competitive advantage that each patent provides and determine which patents are critical to their competitive position in the market.


Patent Quality

Companies should assess the quality and strength of each patent to determine which patents are likely to be enforceable and valuable.


How to Prune your Portfolio Like a Pro?

The process of conducting patent portfolio pruning can vary depending on the company's goals and the size and complexity of its patent portfolio. However, the following are some general steps that can be taken to conduct patent portfolio pruning:


Identify the goals

The first step in conducting patent portfolio pruning is to identify the goals and objectives of the company. This could include reducing costs, focusing on strategic patents, or licensing and monetizing patents.


Evaluate the patents

The company should then evaluate its patent portfolio to identify patents that are no longer relevant, valuable, or aligned with its business objectives. This could involve reviewing the patent landscape, assessing the market potential of each patent, and evaluating the strength and quality of each patent.


Categorize the patents

After evaluating the patents, the company should categorize them based on their relevance, value, and alignment with its business objectives. This could involve categorizing the patents as high-value, medium-value, or low-value.


Prioritize the patents

Based on the categorization, the company should prioritize the patents that are most relevant, valuable, and aligned with its business objectives.


Eliminate low-value patents

The company should then eliminate the low-value patents from its patent portfolio. This could involve allowing the patents to expire, selling or licensing the patents, or abandoning the patents.


Monitor and Review

The company should monitor and review its patent portfolio periodically to ensure that it remains aligned with its business objectives and to identify any new patents that should be added to the portfolio.


Summarising, the process of conducting patent portfolio pruning can be complex and time-consuming, requiring a thorough understanding of the company's business objectives, patent landscape, and patent portfolio. Working with a patent attorney or patent management firm can help companies to conduct patent portfolio pruning effectively and efficiently.

If you need a portfolio optimization expert who not only understands the technology, industry, and your specific needs, but also stay with you on each step during optimisation process and make sure you get the results crucial for your win, then you must consult experts at Boolean IP. Our experts, at Boolean IP, have a total experience of conducting 100+ successful patent mining assignments. Clubbing the experience and expertise of our techno-legal experts, and AI-powered tools, Boolean IP provides high quality IP solutions that help you win. Get in touch with your queries.


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