Maintaining Healthy Patent Portfolios

April 11, 2018 David Bennett

How healthy is your company's patent portfolio? Many large companies take a shotgun approach to patent prosecution - relying on numerous patent applications and sheer force to take each patent application from filing to grant. However, with so many applications in the pipeline, it can be easy to lose sight of the finesse it takes to reduce waste and ensure that each patent in your portfolio is handled efficiently. With access to a wide range of USPTO patent data and modern patent analytics, companies can now keep a watchful eye on each of their patent applications, and make better choices for the health of their patent portfolios.

A Bird's Eye View of Your Patent Portfolio

LexisNexis PatentAdvisor® is a portfolio manager's "eye in the sky."  PatentAdvisor™ gives you the ability to build and maintain online briefcases that hold information about the patent documents of your choosing. You can create briefcases to house the entirety of your corporate patent portfolios, competitors’ portfolios or to group collections of patents by any means imaginable. Once a briefcase is created, PatentAdvisor aggregates USPTO patent data for all of the applications it contains and converts that data into high-level information that can be used to identify patent applications in need of attention.

Using Patent Data to Regroup and Reassess

From a thousand feet up, PatentAdvisor makes it easy to see how many patent applications are pending, issued or abandoned. PatentAdvisor also enables users to filter the applications in a briefcase based on a variety of patent metrics, such as the time they have spent in prosecution or the number of office actions they have received. With this capability, a company can quickly identify every patent application that has received at least two office actions. Recognizing pending patent applications having received at least two gives corporations a chance to regroup and weigh the potential value of the patent if it is granted against the likely cost of continuing patent prosecution. Likewise, identifying granted patents or abandoned applications that required excess responses to office actions could help identify areas for future improvement and measures that could have been taken to reduce time and expense.

Taking Action For Better Prosecution Outcomes

The right time to take action and the right steps to take vary by application. Once a PatentAdvisor briefcase has been used to identify patent applications in need of attention, PatentAdvisor patent analytics can be used to determine the best strategy going forward. Key metrics, such as an examining attorney's allowance rate, average number of office actions, and time in prosecution provide valuable insights about how the prosecution of a particular application is likely to progress. Of even greater value still is a patent examiner's ETA™. PatentAdvisor ETA™ is a new patent metric based on a proprietary algorithm and is PatentAdvisor's most comprehensive means for predicting patent prosecution outcomes. An application's ETA takes into consideration several factors, including a patent examiner's experience level, recent prosecution decisions and examiner’s current pending portfolio, along with historical data, to provide you with insight into the viability of an application. Corporations utilizing an application's ETA and other PatentAdvisor metrics can now identify which pending applications are of more cost than of value, and which patent applications are worth continuing to pursue.

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