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5 Benefits Patent Management Software Must Deliver A properly managed patent portfolio can be an organization's most valuable asset. Without a patent management tool, it's difficult and expensive to gain the value that a patent portfolio provides.

By Thomas Franklin

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A properly managed patent portfolio can be an organization's most valuable asset.

A robust patent portfolio can protect investments by safeguarding product lines and defending against competitor litigation and infringement. A strong patent portfolio can also deliver the value necessary to raise investment funds, collaborate with partners and strengthen a company's position in mergers, acquisitions and other transactions.

Recent data technology advancements, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, have eliminated many manual processes and have made patent data increasingly accessible to small and large businesses.

Patent management software uses patent data analytics to help businesses prepare and organize patent applications, manage patent portfolios and make data-based strategic decisions. Without a patent management tool, it's difficult and expensive to gain the value that a patent portfolio provides.

If you're considering starting or building a patent portfolio and want to maintain it efficiently, you'll need a patent management tool that's versatile and comprehensive.

Here are five benefits an optimized patent management software solution delivers:

Related: The Basics of Protecting Your Intellectual Property, Explained

1. Reduced legal fees

A patent management tool synched with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can provide automatic status updates that outside counsel would otherwise bill you for. When powerful data science provides the information to track your case, you can make intelligent decisions based on the same knowledge that was once only available to your law firm.

Save time and money with real-time status that eliminates the need to call your attorney, wait for updates and pay for information.

A patent management software solution that delivers easy-to-understand patent portfolio status reports enables you and your staff make timely and informed decisions.

2. Greater patent prosecution efficiency

Patent prosecution — the process by which you obtain a patent — entails drafting, filing and negotiating issuance with the patent office. The likelihood of successfully prosecuting a case often depends on the allowance rate of the examiner assigned to the case.

The more you know about the examiner's allowance history, the better you can negotiate and make informed decisions about how to pursue the case. A patent management tool that lets you know how the examiner handling your case tends to respond puts you in the driver's seat when choosing the right course of action.

3. Patent vetting

Any process by which you're vetting and selecting ideas to draft and file requires input and collaboration from stakeholders familiar with the technical benefits, budget considerations and strategic vision.

A patent management tool that facilitates interaction between these players is critical to discovering and moving forward with the most promising ideas without lengthy meetings. Actionable intelligence like cost and allowance predictions allow for finding the most promising ideas for protection.

Features like simultaneous editing, the ability to comment on ideas and documented changes assist in capturing the best thinking within an enterprise. Tools like these, which allow for online and real-time collaboration, can ensure a patent portfolio that aligns with a company's strategic vision and budget.

Related: Want to Patent an Idea? Consider These 3 Tips

4. Assistance in effective IP budget execution

Efficient budget spend is crucial for getting the most value from your patent portfolio.

The key to effective IP budget spending often begins with aligning your strategy with your portfolio and ensuring that patents are compatible with those goals.

Are you building a defensive patent portfolio or one for acquisition? Is the goal to assert your patents or license them? Do you have aspirations to get into new markets? Being clear on your strategy will help you determine which patents to pursue or prune to best allocate budget dollars.

Patent management software that allows you to categorize, summarize and rank cases using objective measures provides the first steps toward getting a clear picture of your portfolio and how it can achieve your strategy.

This type of analysis helps you determine which cases no longer have value so you can cut them, license or auction them off to free up your budget for better opportunities.

5. Multiple innovation dashboards

Zeroing in on the precise data you need helps you stay on top of your patent pipeline as well as make timely and informed decisions.

Role-specific dashboards for inventors, managers, patent practitioners and admin provide relevant perspectives for particular different stakeholders. Everyone involved in the patent program gets their bespoke view with appropriate rights for their involvement.

Dashboards that list ideas submitted and filed by their team allow managers to track inventors and the stages they're working on or stuck at. They can also help identify prolific innovators who have submitted the most ideas or filed the most patents. Filters allow you to focus the interface further for a given query.

Multiple dashboards can help you gain visibility into every corner of your innovation pipeline to stay aligned with company strategies and KPIs.

Related: 4 Ways to Significantly Reduce the Cost of Obtaining New Patents and Managing IP

Patent management software is essential for organizing and managing your patent portfolio. With it, you can easily track the progress of your patents and get timely answers to all your questions.

How many patents have been issued? What is the status of various filings? How many patents are there on a particular product line? A hard-working patent management tool provides the answers you need to stay on top of your innovation pipeline for the entire lifecycle of your patents. It saves you time and money, and it helps you meet your company's strategic goals.

A well-curated patent portfolio can give you the competitive advantage you need to protect your patent assets and take new products to market. The right patent management software facilitates thoughtful management of every stage of that process.

Thomas Franklin

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of Triangle IP

Thomas Franklin, Partner at Mughal IP, Founder at Triangle IP, IAM Top 300 Patent Strategist, Colorado Super Lawyer 2021, People's Choice for Best IP Non-Litigator on Barrister's Best list, Colorado

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