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A Sea Change for Trade Secret Protection? The Potential Noncompete Ban, Employee Departures, and Digital Forensics

Strategic Patent Portfolio Management saves $10M


A leading semiconductor manufacturer with a portfolio of more than 70,000 patent assets
wanted to identify opportunities to optimize portfolio maintenance costs. The company had shortlisted a set of over 3,500 patents, covering technology domains such as microprocessors, semiconductor manufacturing, electronic circuits, and IC design, for which the maintenance fee schedule was due.


The client partnered with UnitedLex to analyze and identify patents that it could abandon to save the cost of renewals.

The UnitedLex team adopted a structured approach to analyze these patents across multiple parameters—including market relevance, enforceability, and technology activity—and identified relatively low-value assets that the company could abandon.


UnitedLex classified approximately 35% of the assets under review in the “less recommended” category as other preferred alternatives were in wide use, or the technology was obsolete or as a result of changes in the client’s business strategy. By proposing that these patents lapse, our client achieved a cost saving of almost $10M in annuities.

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