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The Two Keys for Monetizing Your IP in 2021

By Joe Dearing, Executive Vice President Intellectual Property Solutions

Think of all the valuable R&D that was needed to create your company’s intellectual property portfolio. Those precious hours and dollars led to useful patents and products and you are likely investing to keep that IP secure. But are you just in a set-it-and-forget-it stance?

You’re not alone. Businesses across industries are familiar with a defensive posture for IP but reactive patent management is no longer a viable option in an increasingly optimized business atmosphere.

We’ve seen more aggressive approaches, clear actionable monetization strategies, deliver time and time again with one top automotive client that had no history of patent monetization by forging a new path for its patent portfolio.

To realize this potential, we recommend two solutions that should be a focus for 2021.

Opportunity awaits outside your industry 

“I can’t monetize within my industry, but I don’t know where else to look,” was what we heard from one of our automotive clients grappling with justifying their patent portfolio to senior leadership.

As with automotive, sometimes the greatest opportunity to monetizing IP often comes outside the industry, in adjacent markets. Knowing which markets, what products, and what uses are most likely to bear fruit can save considerable time and costs when creating monetization opportunities.

To understand the revenue-generating opportunities available beyond your industry’s bubble, partner with a thought leader that can provide research and insights into adjacent markets. By understanding the holistic applications of your patents and their potential uses in other markets, you can work together to efficiently define and pursue licensing and sales opportunities.  

Shift your IP focus from protection to value creation 

“I know I have an amazing portfolio, but I can’t find the value,” a technology client told us while trying to quantify the massive investment they made over the last many years in patent.  

By identifying their high-value patent assets, developing an aggressive monetization strategy, and creating defensible licensing discussions throughout the monetization process, one of our clients was able to settle over $100M in licensing deals. 

Companies we work with spend considerable amounts internally and externally to develop their patent portfolio, but few understand the true value of their investment. Patent holders may have patent management software, but this technology does not give them a path to monetizing their portfolio. Consider a patent’s 20-year lifespan. What is the continuity of people, processes, and tools over that timeframe? Who (or what) is responsible for actively assessing and measuring the patent’s worth over time? Are there systems in place to alert leadership of when it is beneficial to allow a patent to lapse or how to bundle patents to increase their licensing value?   

To create value within your patent portfolio, you must continuously monitor your assets and identify value pockets for monetization by evaluating and optimizing the patent portfolio. This will increase your return on investment year-over-year. Ensure your technology and algorithmic solutions can assess disparate data sources to define not just additional patent monetization opportunities but most importantly, deliver an actionable roadmap to revenue.

No one could have anticipated the monumental year that was 2020. It also prompted significant expectations for 2021. Companies must focus on unlocking revenue potential and cost savings throughout their enterprise while outside factors continue to shift. There are few efficient efforts to extract business value greater than creating it from assets that you already own. By adopting a thoughtful patent monetization strategy, companies can double their ROI, even during turbulent times.

If you are ready to learn more about these two areas of IP augmentation read our latest 2021 insight Intellectual Property Monetization in the Digital Age.

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