Are you being efficient with your resources? Most companies have several patent applications in the pipeline at any given moment. Improper management and monitoring of your patent portfolio could be costing you time and money that is better used elsewhere. Avoid these three pitfalls to get the most out of your patent applications.
Patent prosecution is hardly a linear path, so the process should be navigated while accounting for a bit of uncertainty and variability in every application. The USPTO has somewhere between eight and ten thousand patent examiners on staff at any given time, and every single one goes about their job a little bit differently. Additionally, each application requires a different amount of attention by you and your assigned patent examiner because each application is drafted differently and some claims are bound to be stronger than others. For the sake of economy, it makes sense to identify which applications have the least uncertainty and present the most variables in your favor so that you can dedicate your time and the efforts to those applications that will result in the best return on your money. Application prioritization begins with using your assigned patent examiners' allowance rates, the likelihood of each individual application turning into a patent, your applications’ relative strength and the potential financial return you will see out of each patent to prioritize how to allocate your resources.
Every application in your patent portfolio has a threshold where the cost of continuing prosecution should be reassessed against the overall value of the patent. Where you place this threshold is determined by how your patent examiner typically handles the applications that land upon their desk, e.g. how long each application remains pending before it grants and how many back-and-forths are usually necessary during the process. If you fail to identify and monitor thresholds for your pending applications, you may wind up going back-and-forth with your patent examiner more than your realize. With each back-and-forth costing between $2,000 and $3,000, how long can you afford to continue before your application’s value has diminished completely? Take care to closely monitor your prosecution decisions to avoid becoming upside down in your investment.
3. Failure to Integrate
Managing multiple applications efficiently can be quite a daunting task. Efforts to increase efficiency through the prioritization and careful monitoring of your applications could cost you more of your time and money than before if they are not properly executed. Your efforts should integrate seamlessly into your prosecution process so that you can direct your attention where it is needed the most. Prioritization, monitoring and integration can all be achieved through patent portfolio management with LexisNexis PatentAdvisor®.