Every year millions of patents are issued worldwide. Of these, only 3% actually make money for the owner. Businesses create IP, such as patents, to protect their competitive advantage. But protecting them is expensive and does not generate any direct returns. To monetize your patent investments, a solid patent commercialization strategy is a must.
Having a strategy will help beat the odds by effectively navigating market, competitive, regulatory and infringement threats. But a strategy is only as good as the insight driving it. Without deep insights into the technology/invention and the market, customer, competitive, and patent landscape, developing a successful patent commercialization strategy is next to impossible.
Here are some important factors to consider before taking a patent or innovative technology to the marketplace.
1. What problem does the patent solve?
This is the primary and perhaps the toughest question researchers need to ask themselves. Being able to clearly define the problem(s) the technology intends to solve will help you make every other decision, such as whom the technology will serve (target customer), who is the competition, what are the technology benefits, and so on.
2. What existing methods/solutions/products solve the same problem and how is your invention different/novel?
This step involves identifying competitor solutions in the market and benchmarking them to identify their strengths and limitations. It will help uncover any gaps in existing solutions and differentiators that set your invention apart.
3. What are the existing and potential application areas of the invention?
There can be multiple use cases and applications for a given IP, both immediate and futuristic. Understanding the various applications for your invention can help identify the various ways in which it can be monetized.
4. What benefits does the invention present for each market/application?
Once you’ve clearly defined the novelty of your invention and its applications, it’s time to identify the market you need to target. Start by defining the benefits the technology offers for each application. The benefits your invention offers could vary based on its intended purpose.
5. What are the market opportunities that exist and how significant are they?
A market opportunity assessment is important to determine whether there are significant opportunities for revenue and profits in relevant markets over the next few years. It’s important to consider the market size for the technology for all possible segments, such as application, geography, and any other demand-driven opportunities.
6. Which market to pursue?
Once you’ve established that a significant market opportunity exists for your invention, it’s time to delve deeper to ascertain which market to focus on. This involves analyzing the competition within each market, mapping your IP to the addressable problems in those markets, understanding the buying patterns and pain-points of customers, and identifying the regulatory barriers that may arise.
Patent landscape analysis
7. Are there any similar patents/applications that exist?
It’s crucial to perform a claim analysis to check whether there are one or more patents that can limit your freedom to operate in a market. In our experience, the rate of conflict is up to 95%, thanks to the rapid pace of innovation happening globally.
The presence of a blocking patent does not mean you should give up on your IP. You can choose to purchase or license the competing patent from the patent holder or consider tweaking your IP so that it doesn’t infringe upon someone else’s patent.
8. How mature is my patent?
A patent landscape analysis will help answer if there are better, more advanced approaches to achieve the same goals as your IP. Understanding how similar technologies are evolving will help you inform future changes in your IP.
Technology bundling options
9. What other complementing IP can help enhance my final product offering?
In order to make the most of your IP, consider opportunities to bundle it with other patents. Doing so can help in developing a far more superior product and even eliminate the competition. This concept has been implemented by leading tech companies like IBM with great success. Patent analysis can help in identifying complementing inventions that offer a strategic advantage.
Patent commercialization route
10. What are the commercialization routes available to me?
Based on all the information and insights gathered so far, you can then list the possible commercialization paths you could take. Each option needs to be thoroughly evaluated to find out the potential risks and pitfalls, assess the revenue you can earn, how much market share you can aim to capture, and so on. For example, you could choose to license your technology to a company that already has the infrastructure and brand name in the industry, start your own company or partner with one that lets you cross-license their IP.
Bringing innovative technologies to the marketplace can be just as tough as developing them. There are numerous factors that need to be considered to be able to strategically plan your moves. In most cases, inventors need to make several changes to their patents to ensure a strong product-market fit and avert infringement threat. But the returns from a successful patent commercialization strategy can be huge. It can bestow tremendous advantages to companies and inventors alike.
Netscribes helps organizations unlock the true potential of patents by offering strategic insights and advice throughout the commercialization process. We conduct comprehensive market, competitive, and IP research to provide all the insights you need to shape your patent commercialization strategy. To request a consultation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.