CONDUCT A PORTFOLIO AUDIT
The audit should determine how your IP does or could create and sustain your organisation’s competitive position. It may also uncover some gaps in your internal IP management, as well as overlooked and underperforming IP that could potentially be quite valuable.
Make sure that your IP Rights are intact and registered correctly. Update titles and recordals if necessary. Out-of-date IP information could risk undermining your plans to exploit your IP Rights for profit and even undermine your ownership of the right itself.
SEGMENT THE PORTFOLIO
The objective of the portfolio audit should be to segment your cleansed IP Rights into six main categories. Three of the categories relate to core IP. These are: core IP Rights that are essential to your current products and/or services (high-value IP); core IP that could drive your future products and/or services (medium value); and IP that’s not useful to you but could be useful to someone else (low value). The remaining three categories relate to noncore IP. These are: non-core IP Rights that could be essential to someone else’s products or services (high value); non-core IP that is not supportive of your current or future business but could be useful to someone else (medium value); and IP that’s not useful to you or anyone else (lowest value).
‘SCORE’ THE PORTFOLIO RIGHTS
Assess the portfolio to determine what is and is not needed in line with the business strategy. This may mean additional registrations or, in some cases, allowing some IP registrations to lapse. IP can be assessed through statistical ranking and specialist assessed ranking services.
ANALYSE HIGH-SCORING RIGHTS
In-depth analysis for high-scoring rights will provide further understanding of key assets in the portfolio leading to identification of potential licensees. Establishing patent-product maps will also enable you to identify weaknesses in your portfolio that could be plugged by in-licensing rights, as well as identifying exposed rights that can be protected by further registrations.
By John Pryor, VP of Portfolio Optimisation at CPA Global
This article first appeared in IP Review, issue 24