Patent litigation is on the rise, and lawsuits are being primed for lengthy battles with millions to billions of dollars at stake. With a significant increase in litigation funding flooding the patent litigation market, companies with a robust patent portfolio strategy are in position to successfully assert their patents, fend off counterclaims, and expand their business.
Competition for intellectual property rights remains fierce and even increased into 2022, despite notions that patent litigation would decrease during the COVID pandemic. Likewise, NPE litigation rose in district courts and the ITC last year. This growth in IP activity is and will continue to be prevalent in high-tech industries as more companies file and are granted more patents. In fact, according to GlobalData, TMT (technology, media, telecom) technologies dominated patent filings across top patent offices in Q1 2022, with automotive tech taking second place. Additionally, the number of patents granted globally in the first quarter of this year hit a record, rising to more than 1.1 million patent grants.
So, what does this increased activity mean, and how will this impact your client?
Too often, attorneys are challenged by the level of attention and domain expertise needed to identify the most valuable assets and the biggest vulnerabilities of a patent portfolio. Without a proper patent portfolio analysis, opportunities for patent assertions can be missed, and an effective patent defense strategy can be overlooked.
With that in mind, is your patent portfolio strategy strong?
It is critically important to understand not only the portfolio’s place in the market today but also the direction of the technology landscape in the future. In addition, patents are expensive to secure and maintain, so it is imperative to focus on core technology areas and build defensive positions for them.
Counsel should approach patent portfolio analyses as an important way to maintain a competitive advantage for continued profitability by consulting with highly skilled technical experts educated in engineering, AI, and other computer and data sciences. These experts can provide guidance on claim construction, help navigate claim challenges, and identify monetization opportunities.
Additionally, understanding IP value is crucial to M&A deals, and a highly skilled expert can conduct due diligence and advise counsel on which patents present the clearest ROI.
Industries experiencing rapid growth and innovation will be rich with litigation targets and deal-making.
Consider Robert Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services and the fastest growing patent filing company this year, as a precursor for companies playing for stakes in the automotive technology market. Forty percent of Bosch’s applied patents in Q1 involve electric batteries, hybrid cars, EVs, and radio navigation. Companies from other industries experiencing tech innovation and rapid growth and consolidation—like fintech and gaming—will likely follow suit.
Additionally, for these industries in motion, the benefits of a strong patent portfolio strategy go beyond patent prosecution and protection. In today’s ever-competitive emerging technology landscape, these industries vie for talent. Creating a robust IP program that rewards and recognizes employees for disclosing inventions that are ultimately used can help foster a culture that incentivizes innovation and employee engagement and boosts morale.
At WIT, our teams of experts in automotive technology, fintech, gaming, and wireless communications are highly credentialled, many of whom are pioneers and innovators in computer and data science and engineering. Contact us to learn more about how our experts can support your patent portfolio strategy.