Thomas Marlow, Intellectual Property Counsel for Fairchild Semiconductor
EETimes (8/25/2010 8:42 AM EDT)
There is no question that a portfolio of patents can provide tremendous value to a company. In fact, many will agree that trying to compete in a high technology industry without adequate patent protection is insane if not merely futile.
Whether you have a patent portfolio of 200 or 20,000, identifying which are providing the value can be a daunting task. The comparative value from one patent to the next is not always readily apparent. Certainly all patents are not created equally. There are a number of factors that can influence value, from licensing (think IBM) to litigation (multi-million dollar verdicts are commonplace in the news). These highly publicized benefits are unfortunately not very applicable to most patents in most portfolios.
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