Case Study

Fortune 50 Automotive Manufacturer Monetizes Patent Portfolio

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$5M

Savings by renegotiating existing patent licenses

$3M

One year savings through the lapse of low-value and portfolio management

Challenge

A leading Fortune 50 automotive manufacturer had a vast intellectual property (IP) portfolio with over 30,000 patents. Despite investing hundreds of millions of dollars in developing its portfolio, the company had adopted a passive and defensive approach to portfolio management realizing less than five percent annual returns. Senior leadership tasked the IP department with justifying the company’s patent investment and departmental cost structure.

The company engaged UnitedLex to evaluate its patent portfolio and departmental processes to enhance its capabilities in patent strategy, team efficiency, and portfolio management. We were selected not only for our depth of IP expertise but our experience across a breadth of industries, as the client required monetization opportunities outside of the automotive manufacturing industry.

Our confidence in the intrinsic value of the portfolio and our ability to generate revenue from it allowed us to invest in our client’s success, enabling the company to move forward with very few limitations.

Solution

UnitedLex developed a patent monetization strategy and roadmap from the ground up. Leveraging our knowledge of automotive manufacturing as well as adjacent industries, UnitedLex created a blueprint for the client to maximize its patent investments and transform team roles to maximize efficacy.

Our solution included:

  • Monetization strategy: In-depth evaluation of the company’s patent portfolio, identifying multi-year monetization opportunities outside the automotive market

  • License optimization: Renegotiation of existing licenses to increase cost savings

  • Portfolio management: Creation of an optimized patent portfolio with dynamic processes to ensure costs savings year-over-year

  • Process transformation: Analysis of the department’s processes and workflows, matching the right work to the right roles through highly efficient workflows with the aim of increasing team productivity and reducing costs

  • Team education: Training the IP team to increase capabilities and knowledge sharing

Impact

To date, the client has realized the following:

  • Rolled out of a monetization campaign across multiple adjacent industries against an initial six targets, with a plan to expand to more than a dozen targets, creating significant revenue opportunities

  • Delivered more than $5M of savings by renegotiating existing patent licenses with the continued ability to increase savings over time

  • Achieved further savings of $3M in year one through the lapse of low-value patents and plans to continue pruning through dynamic patent portfolio management

  • Transformed internal IP processes for greater efficiency and future operationalization of new workflows

  • Established new disaggregated patent preparation and prosecution agreements with outside counsel, setting up further consolidation and cost savings

  • Expanded team from 21 to 36 members with reduced overall cost, driving a global training program to bring in talent from around the world

UnitedLex’s work with the clients is still actively underway, ensuring continued costs savings and revenue gains.

If you are ready to learn more about our patent monetization program for the automotive industry, visit our Drive Profitability Through Patent Monetization web page.