Patent monetization begins with identifying patents that read on current-day, high value products or services.
Over the next 5 to 10 years, identifying valuable patents will become increasingly more difficult and will require highly-specialized experts.
Over the next 5 to 10 years, patents filed in the early-to-mid 90s patents will progressively expire. On average, these early-to-mid 90s patents have notably broader claims, mostly because examiners in this time had a tendency to issue claims with only one or two rounds of rejections, leaving claims that were relatively clean from a prosecution standpoint. Further, examiner’s during this time did not have the benefit of the Internet to conduct prior art searches. As such, examiners typically rejected claims on prior art that was not on-point, paving an easy road for applicant’s to overcome rejections.
Broad claims and cleaner file histories give way to higher monetization potential.
However, in the late 90s and early 2000s, particularly as patent moneization became more prevalent, examiner’s became more stringent and required applicants to narrow their claims to cover nuanced features. Patents filed in the late 90s and early 2000s have notably narrower and more specific claims than those filed in the early-to-mid 90s.
As you form your monetization team over the next 5 to 10 years, be sure to include technical experts that have deep industry expertise, in addition to patent expertise. Deep industry knowledge will be necessary to identify valuable patents among those with long claims and narrow requirements.