It is important to understand the implications of technology patents for real-world applications. A thorough evaluation by experienced intellectual-property counsel can uncover ways to use a patent that the owner may not have been previously considered.
Three levels of matchmaking
The evaluation process typically involves a three-step method, where increasingly precise analysis is done to determine opportunities for potential purchase or sale for implementation of the patent—whether it is a new microchip for a better coffee machine or an opportunity to reduce the price of artificial intelligence technology used in self-driving cars.
Expert opinion: The attorney works with technically informed analysts who have practical, real-world experience as well as a strong grasp of the elements involved in the patent. Ideally, they can quickly and economically separate obvious, easily monetized standout patents from long shots that may have only one potential application.
Analysis of documentation: Here the analysts look at the patent abstract’s marketing and detailed technical language of its function and specifications. Based on this potential, a product match involving the sale or purchase of the technology can often be conducted.
Physical evidence: The most accurate method for determining a match; this involves acquiring devices on the open market whose desired technology can then be modified to suit the purposes of the potential match. By doing this, analysts can:
- Examine the structure for possible manufacturing
- Examine the functionality using the open market devices
- Examine the software and surrounding hardware
The findings can provide protection as well
Not only can this process be used to find and evaluate potential opportunities, but it can also help determine if the patent is being infringed or if there are other potential issues. A knowledgeable intellectual-property attorney can help guide patent owners through this and other decisions related to the application of patents.