Screening Techs Before Patenting Pays Off: Running the Numbers

I was chatting with a Fuentek colleague last week who had recently run some numbers related to the technology screening work we have been doing for a client. Two facts came up that I wanted to share.

The first related to saved patenting costs. We have screened lots of invention disclosures for this client, and over time we’ve rated a total of 134 techs as having low or medium-low commercial potential, recommending that the client not patent them. Cost savings: $3.355 million (assuming $25K/patent). Great news, though not surprising when you do the math on the value of technology screenings.

My colleague also showed me the graph below, which charts year-by-year patent application filings (blue) and patents issued (green) from before we started screening the client’s technologies to date. Of course, there is a lag between when an application is filed and when the patent issues, but let’s set aside the actual yearly numbers (dashed lines) and look at the trends (solid lines). The convergence of the applications-filed and the patents-issued trends depicts that, armed with the findings of our screenings, the client is applying for protection for technologies that have a high likelihood of receiving a patent. A higher “hit rate” means less money is being spent filing applications for unpatentable technologies.Patent Applications Filed vs. Patents Issued

Fuentek screenings helped our client make better decisions about which techs warrant filing for patent protection, resulting in a better “hit rate” in terms of issued patents.

If you still need convincing regarding the value of screenings, download our free webcast on why it’s important to screen invention disclosures before patenting. It was excerpted from our webinar “A Step-by-Step Process for Technology Screenings,” which provides exactly that. The recorded webinar is available for purchase, and the video comes with a free live Q&A session with yours truly. (You might like this post about the last Q&A we did for our screening webinar.)

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Posted by Danielle McCulloch

2 Responses to Screening Techs Before Patenting Pays Off: Running the Numbers

  1. patent litigation says:

    It’s true that many inventions don’t necessarily merit patent protection, if one considers solely the inventions’ market value. However, there are sometimes other (often worthy) reasons why an innovator may seek a patent — for example, prestige, portfolio-building, or sharing information.

  2. Danielle McCulloch says:

    Thanks for commenting! You might find this other post on considering market potential interesting. And you’re right that a technology might not have sufficient market value on its own but within the context of the larger portfolio it does have value that makes patenting worthwhile. That’s why taking a strategic, comprehensive view of the portfolio and factoring that into decision making is so important.

    As for patenting for prestige, the Fuentek Filtering Process does allow for that. Techs that do not pass the Screening are released to the innovators, who then can decide for themselves whether to pursue patenting on their own. In this way, the Tech Transfer Office maximizes the resources available for commercializing technologies that will generate revenue (or achieve other goals/metrics) and innovators can pursue prestige patents.