Someone has rightly said “only a jeweler knows the right value of a diamond”. Doesn’t this proverb hold well for intellectual property as well? Who is the right person to contact if someone wishes to monetize his/her intellectual property assets? Before answering this question, let us first take this scenario to a different dimension. A dimension more relatable to the common masses i.e. Real Estate.
Suppose someone has acres of land and he wishes to make money from it. What should he do in such a situation? He might go out by himself and look for a buyer or he may seek consultation from a property researcher. Well, going out by himself and looking for an interested party seems to be a tough task given the fact that an individual has a limited knowledge, contacts and expertise in dealing with specific situations like these. But for a researcher, it’s the means for earning his bread. So, wouldn’t it be better to leave all the hassle aside and get the work done with perfection?
Intellectual property is no different than the scenario mentioned above. The entities that have intellectual property in the form of patents, copyrights, trademarks seek to monetize this property by different means. It must be noted that these entities are mainly companies, patent aggregators and individual inventors. The main motive of having the intellectual property is to protect the invention from being copied/stolen or sell intellectual property to the ones in need of it. In either case, the owner of the said intellectual property will look forward to generate some revenue out of it.
But a question still arises; who will tell the owners if their property is being stolen or if someone is in need of their property and is ready to give them a fair price for it. Consider this situation from the other end, what if a company is looking to enter into a new technology domain and is looking to buy patents covering the aspects of this technology. To whom should this company approach to know who has the best patents? Currently, the industry seeks these answers from inventors and intellectual property researchers.
Many entities leave this work to their market instincts or go for an “inventor search & analysis”. Who else could be a better fit since inventors themselves are creators of this property and are well acquainted with the specifications of the assets they have created. But inventors are generally the persons working in universities, R&D divisions of a company and other professionals with a little or no knowledge of market trends and IP laws & regulations. Their knowledge and expertise is in a particular field of technology and time and again, it has been seen that they aren’t able to broaden the scope of invention beyond their field of technical expertise. Thinking in a single dimension can be a roadblock in making the most of the assets, especially in case of intellectual assets like patents where every patent claim speaks a different language. Also, seeking help from inventors will become infeasible for companies and patent aggregators as they have thousands of patents and getting a specialist patent for analysis of each and every patent will be futile effort.
It is not to be inferred that the inventors are not capable of helping in monetizing the IP assets. They have played a key role in past and will continue to do so. However, wouldn’t it be better if we have a better option? If someone could fetch us more value than others?
There is another approach where entities hire/assign this task to IP Researchers. Here I have compiled a list of few benefits which comes handy when you approach a researcher to do such tasks.
1. Scope of the Invention – Researchers are generally the experts in a particular domain and since they have learnt a lot by working on different types of patents of the same domain, they could be the best ones in taking interpretations which can work as per the requirements of the client. They may help in taking broader scope of the invention which otherwise might have been skipped.
2. Right Set of Tools – Researchers have access to the right set of tools, which implies they exactly know where to search for a particular type of information. This helps in doing the task in much less time than the ones which do not have access to the tools of research.
3. Knowledge of Market Trends – They know what is happening in the market and how the transactions are being taken place. What are the future prospects of a particular technology? They can consult better on what to do with the invention than any other individual.
4. Acquainted with the process – There earn out of their research and they are being evaluated on the basis of the kind of research output they provide which is not the case with other individuals such as inventors. This is why they are very well acquainted with the process and the laws and regulations related to IP. They may not only provide research output but may also consult in earning better revenue.
5. Output in Less Time - With years of experience in monetizing IP assets, the researchers do their best by using their intellects, knowledge, contacts and exposure. They can do the same work which might take weeks at the end of the person who is not skilled in this field in day. This can save you some time and this can definitely help you in crunch situations.
People argue that every service comes at a price and researchers are no different. And I would say even if you hire someone who would take weeks to do the same task, is going to charge and the quality cannot be assured. Then who is a better choice? Choose for yourself.
Muzammil is a Team Lead at GreyB, passionate about technology and interacting with people. He has 4+ years of experience in intellectual property management. He is very qualified in intellectual property asset management, patent litigation support, patent prosecution support, patent acquisition support, due diligence, patent infringement study, patent validity search, opposition search, freedom to operate, state of the art search, landscape study, IP solutions, team management, project management, data mining, analytic, connecting dots and generating insights. Muzammil holds a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) in Information Technology from IET BHADDAL.