• Do You Have a Strong Patent Strategy?
  • Value-Driven Patent Strategy™
  • Technology, Patent, and Claim Mapping
  • IP Procedures Auditing
  • Outsourced Patent Management
  • Patent Landscape Analysis
  • Existing Patent Analysis
  • Novel Invention and Idea Analysis
  • Strategic Inventing and Brainstorming Services
Do You Have a Strong Patent Strategy?

A patent and general intellectual property (IP) strategy directs the power of patents and other forms of IP such as copyright, trade secrets, and trademarks to your business objectives. For patents, strategic actions include filing and prosecuting applications, and defending and enforcing patents used offensively or defensively. Patent strategy starts with the broad goals of the company on a strategic level, and the implementation begins with ideas or problems to be solved. Whether directed toward an engineer documenting an invention in a lab book or a manager trying to determine the relative value of one invention over another, strategic review and guidance based on continued evaluation at different levels will achieve the most efficient and optimized patent value for the company.

In an ideal world, companies would obtain IP or patent rights on every idea or innovation. In the real world, the costs of obtaining patents is continuously increasing and most companies cannot afford the time, money, and resources to seek patents on every invention. This is especially true for small businesses. To assist such companies, Phostech has developed a Value-Driven Patent Strategy™ for achieving strategic company goals through continued evaluation of ideas, applications, and patents.

Many small businesses believe that expensive patent attorneys are required to obtain a strong, valid patent, but find that high hourly attorney rates prohibit the regular on-site discussions that are needed to implement a full patent strategy. A complete Value-Driven Patent Strategy takes into account the cost and relevance of each idea, application, and patent, and results in valuable patents at a significantly reduced cost to the company. Without paying proper attention to strategy, most companies default to filing as many as patents as they can afford while spending at least $25,000 per patent issued and tens of thousands of dollars more over the lifetime of the patent. Time and money spent up-front on regular evaluation of which applications to file, continue prosecuting, abandon or defer, enables more time, money, and effort to be spent on the most relevant and important patents that will help the company achieve its near and long-term strategic goals.

Phostech can develop and implement your patent strategy by providing on-site direct assistance with:

Phostech provides services tailored effectively to enable clients to obtain, evaluate, and use patents to achieve a full range of business goals.

What is a Value-Driven Patent Strategy™?

A Value-Driven Patent Strategy™ continuously evaluates the direct costs (such as filing fees and maintenance fees) and indirect costs (such as attorneys, agents, and research time) against the offensive and defensive benefits obtained from patents or patent applications in order to determine the optimal course of action with the highest value to the company. These actions may include, for example, determining that a later-filed application will have a more direct benefit to a new product line or choosing to accelerate the application process.

Most companies have a limited budget to spend on patent costs, and decisions on which course of action to take with an application or patent are often taken without key input from important areas of the company. The different opportunities and methods to exploit the different benefits of patents are not often addressed when the business is particularly conscious of a law firm with a high hourly rate. As a result, many time-and money-saving options for companies are not utilized. These include such options as:

  • Using electronic filing and accelerated examination to pass on the savings to the client
  • Embedding multiple inventions within one application to defer patent filing and prosecution fees
  • Performing effective prior-art searches so that money is not wasted on applications that will not result in strong patents
  • Using the new accelerated examination process to obtain patents within one year from filing
  • Weighing the benefits/disadvantages of electing not to publish a filed application
  • Planning ahead for claim strategies when filing continuation applications
  • How to construct a "picket fence" of patents around a key new technology

Phostech believes in working closely with the client to gather important information needed to file patent applications that result in a strong and valuable patent portfolio.

Technology, Patent, and Claim Mapping

Visualizing a number of patents grouped by a chosen set of criteria can provide keen insight and information that might otherwise go unnoticed. Patents can be mapped based on many categories such as a technology area (also known as Patent Landscape Analysis), patents owned by a specific company, and the claims for an individual patent or a group of patents. Examples of the groupings of patents and information that can be revealed include:

Criteria for grouping patents Potential information revealed
Your company's patents Gaps or holes in your patent strategy
Technology type and competitor's patents Current technology used by your competitors
Future technology areas of focus of your competitors
Competitor's patent families Your competitor's pending applications
Inventors in your competitor's patents Other areas of focus of your competitors (i.e. different technology areas or products)
A key employee who left your competitor
Patents in a technology area Other companies within your space or looking to get into your space

Phostech can provide custom solutions for patent landscape analysis, company-specific patent mapping, or claim mapping in a full report with charts and analysis that will provide detailed information of your specific area of interest. Phostech can also provide key technology mapping in different technology sectors including information derived from patent searches, technical articles, market data, and other sources.

IP Procedures Auditing

Proper IP procedures are key to obtaining, maintaining, and exploiting the value of a company's intellectual assets. It only takes one seemingly small mistake to invalidate a patent and many companies are caught off guard when this happens, after making large investments in research and product development. An independent analysis of a company's intellectual property procedures includes:

  • Idea and invention capture (log books, invention disclosure forms)
  • Secrecy and procedures for preventing unintended disclosures and restricting information flow from the company (NDAs, conference papers, technology licensing, etc.)
  • Procedures for storing and safeguarding documents
  • System for evaluating and prioritizing patents and patent applications
  • Continuous management of intellectual property
  • Protocol for notification and acting upon US Patent & Trademark Office requirements and deadlines
  • System for managing technology licenses

Phostech can provide a full or custom intellectual property procedures audit and can offer procedure solutions specific to your company's needs.

Outsourced Patent Management

Monitoring, managing, procuring, and enforcing patent rights are essential for a company to achieve the full potential of its intellectual property assets as well as reduce and manage risk associated with infringement.

Phostech's patent management system integrates systems of quality control and cost-effective procedures that manage clients patents and patent applications effectively and efficiently. By combining a comprehensive Value-Driven Patent Strategy™ with patent management, clients receive complete attention that is continuously directed towared their specific business goals.

Through the regularly generated full status reports on all patents and pending applications, clients are aware of all upcoming actions and requirements to allow for optimized time managment and timely strategic decisions to reduce costs and increase the value of their portfolio.

Patent Landscape Analysis

By examining the patent landscape in a specific technology area or even a specific competitor, one can gather important insight into the players in the technology space, gauge their level of expertise and committed resources into protecting their investment, and determine the potential future of manufacturing or devices. An accurate assessment of a competitor's position and future plans in a technology area requires a full analysis of the competitor's pending and issued patent portfolio. By analyzing a competitor's portfolio, a company can recognize potential partners or companies that might be infringing its patents now or in the future. In some cases, a company can learn of potentially new markets and opportunities for their existing technologies and products through competitive patent analysis. Through the technique of patent landscape analysis and company patent mapping, patterns can be visualized to provide revealing information.

Competitive patent analysis in a specific technology area is a vitally important for investors to determine the quality and relative significance of a company's patent portfolio in order assist in company valuation. With large numbers of patents becoming invalidated, an early assessment of competitive patent landscape provides a deeper insight into potential future risks.

Existing Patent Analysis

Evaluation of a patent or family of patents is critical when determining the patent value, freedom to operate, competitor position, identifying invalidity issues, oportunities for work-arounds, or gaps in coverage.

Phostech provides custom patent evaluation services which include:

  • Full text, specification and claim analysis
  • Full patent file wrapper and prosecution history analysis
  • Relevant prior art analysis
  • Claim and patent mapping
  • Invalidity issue identification and analysis
  • Full patent analysis report

Each patent or porfolio analysis is custom designed to provide the information required to support the client's strategic decisions.

Novel Invention and Idea Analysis

The importance of evaluating a idea or invention should never be underestimated due to the significant amounts of money and time invested in procuring a patent, not to mention the strategic business choices and assumptions made when investing in a new technology. A full evaluation of a patent or an idea includes:

  • Mapping out key innovations and components and how they may relate to each other
  • Searching related patent and other prior art based on key innovations
  • Mapping out opportunities for patents
  • Evaluating the strength of potential patents

Analyzing an idea before the patent drafting process begins benefits the client by:

  • Saving time and money
  • Enabling informed strategic patent strategy and business decisions
  • Validating the novelty of the idea
  • Identifying patentable inventions to get around prior art
  • Reducing the likelihood of future prior-art surprises
  • Identifying potential competitors or partners
  • Identifying new methods, materials, or designs for improved claims

Phostech can offer a customized solution for individual or group invention analysis. Cost-effective solutions include integration of invention analysis with other services such as patent landscape analysis, technology mapping, prior art searching, patent drafting, and patent strategy services.

Strategic Inventing and Brainstorming Services

Phostech offers clients the ability to direct and contribute to strategic inventing and brainstorming sessions. The unique set of skills provided by Phostech includes a strong engineering and physics background, patent drafting experience, accelerated inventing techniques, investigation and strategy services, and a proven history of inventing (over 17 patents issued, more than 35 pending). Phostech can facilitate the creation of new ideas or concepts, new products, new markets, and new technology directions through services such as:

  • Direct and participate in strategic inventing and brainstorming sessions
    • Full idea capture and follow-up reporting
    • New techniques for idea generation, including accelerated inventing techniques
  • Record, document, and map-out potential patent strategies from brainstorming sessions
  • Create technology roadmaps using patent analysis, trade literature, and industry sources
  • Evaluate new products, manufacturing methods, or concepts for performance and revenue potential for companies or investors

Phostech offers half-day, full-day, multiple-day, or custom services and sessions for clients, as well as a range of options for documenting and reporting the results. Additional services include options for patent strategy services, patent drafting and filing, and patent portfolio management.