Patent Quality and Patent Context vs. "Patent Value"
During this week's Licensing Executive's Society Spring Meeting in Boston, several interesting dynamics are appearing.
Most interesting was the growing willingness of participants to discuss the past few years' "IP bubble" and the recent focus on patents' dollar value calculations and patent valuation.
In a range of discussions from university technology transfer directors to patent attorneys and technology company executives, we appear to be returning to a focus on fundamental components of patent value:
- Understanding the importance of the technology
- Focusing upon the quality of the legal protection
- And, figuring out the proper or best commercialization strategies
In our work, we refer to these components of value as "IP Building Blocks" - others have different names. The critical shift that we discussed is that people are returning to a more realistic perspective of the time investments required to receive value for their investments in innovation and technology development.
As we continue to increase technology transfer between firms and between fields of application / expertise (from a licensing perspective "fields of use"); we anticipate that executives, experts and directors will focus more on the relationships and technology due diligence required to successfully build lasting value.
Technology executives and investors intuitively "know" that IP can be an important strategic lever (or lens when considering alternatives), the trick is finding methods to incorporate this perspective on a timely, consistent and cost-effective basis. Experience shows that this is possible -- it is incumbent upon us all to find the time and means to include relevant IP indicators in our decision criteria and corporate performance measurements.