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Edison in the Boardroom Revisited: How Leading Companies Realize Value from Their Intellectual Property, Second Edition by Patrick H. Sullivan, Suzanne S. Harrison

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Best Practices for Level Two: Manage Costs

Commercially available tools and services are valuable as far as they go, but Level Two companies go further. They adopt a series of best practices, often including these four:

Best Practice 1: Relate the portfolio to business use.

Best Practice 2: Create a screening criterion.

Best Practice 3: Manage the patent portfolio in a cost-conscious manner.

Best Practice 4: Begin discussions regarding “make versus buy” innovation preferences.

Best Practice 1: Relate the Portfolio to Business Use

Fundamental to the intent of companies at Level Two is the need to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their patenting activities. In accomplishing this goal, companies must be able to match patents with the firm’s business strategies and objectives. Specifically, they will want to categorize current and prospective patents and innovations in ways that facilitate both tactical and strategic decisions about these capabilities. Any system or framework that enables this process will be valued at a Level Two firm.

To more effectively manage their intellectual property portfolios, it is important for companies to first know what their portfolios contain. This involves knowing not only simple portfolio demographics (e.g., number of patents and technologies, technology groupings, remaining patent life, etc.), but also information about the content or usability of the patents. Such information is useful for three reasons:

1. To obtain a clear picture ...

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