MAKING THE MOST OF AN IP PORTFOLIO

As mentioned in our previous post, approaches for developing and managing your IP portfolio need to change to keep up with changes in technology.  Due to rapid progress in technology, a patented technology may only be commercially desirable for a limited amount of time, such as a few years.  However, patents typically have a term of twenty years.  How can you make the most of your patent during the entire duration of its term?  One approach during concept development and drafting of the patent application may be to include disclosure of how your inventive concept could be used in technologies that are only newly emerging, but may be mainstays down the road.  For example, in automobiles, it may be wise to consider how an inventive concept could be used in a hybrid or all electric vehicle, or how the inventive concept could be used in an autonomously-driven vehicle.  You could include claims directed to the use of the inventive concept in these newly-emerging technologies, or file a continuation application down the road.  In this way, an inventive concept may be expanded across multiple technology areas, thus increasing the value of your IP portfolio.