Creating an effective monetization strategy requires a multi-dimensional game plan, a game plan involving (1) acquisition considerations; (2) campaign costs; (3) revenue potential, taking into account the (i) market landscape and (ii) importance of the read; (4) assessments regarding the (i) strength of the read; (ii) claim construction positions; (iii) validity, including (a) forum considerations and (b) strength assessments; (5) filing strategies; and (6) compelling story telling.
In this post, I’ll be discussing (6) compelling story telling.
Compelling Story Telling
While there are a myriad of legal, technical, and strategic nuances surrounding a monetization campaign, never forget that in the end it’s all about people—specifically, persuading another person to act in a way that furthers your goals.
In the settlement context, you are persuading an in-house counsel or a business-unit member of a potential licensee to make an executive decision to pay you for a license, because if they don’t a judge or jury will eventually compel them to pay you an increased amount, at a later time.
In the litigation context, you are trying to persuade a judge and jury that the potential licensee is infringing valid and enforceable patents, and that they need to pay you for it.
In either context, you are persuading another person to see things the way you want them to. As such, you need to deliver your message in the most influential manner possible.
Do so by simplifying your message and connecting the dots with a story—particularly, a story that involves a human element.
While you are dealing with technology, people are swayed by the stories involving people and their struggles over obstacles. While your arguments may be technical, always tie it to a story involving a person’s journey.
There is no limit to persuasive story-telling—it’s an art. There are multiple ways to weave a compelling story, all based on the same fact.
Below are questions that can help prompt you to create one.
Regarding the inventor:
How did the inventor come up with the invention? What was the problem the inventor saw? Did the inventor form a business around the invention? Was it successful? Did it fail? Does the inventor have a history of innovation (e.g., other patents, publications)? Was it a one-time epiphany?
Regarding the invention:
Is it groundbreaking? Did the market adopt its principles? Is it a leap over the prior art?
Regarding the infringer:
Did they know about the invention? Did they have any prior dealings with the inventor? Did they widely incorporate the invention into their main product line? Are they benefiting from it? Is it giving them a competitive advantage?
Regarding the patent owner:
Is the patent owner the inventor or working with the inventor? Is the patent owner commercializing the invention? Is the patent owner losing its market share due to other infringers? Is the patent owner contributing the community?
Tie everything to a story behind a person. Make it compelling—add a human element beyond the technology. The more compelling you create your story, the greater your potential to realize returns on your campaign.