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In-house patent lawyers can team with colleagues to prepare an opportunity matrix

To value a corporation’s patent portfolio is one of the inter-disciplinary contributions of in-house patent counsel. Inter-disciplinary because technology professionals, commercial managers, and finance specialists have to combine their talents. Partnering Perspectives, Summer 2010, at 5, by Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, states that “Many businesses use an ‘opportunity matrix’ to valuate their patents.” Apparently such a matrix “includes all the indicators of value for each asset in the portfolio.”

Fascinatingly, a forward citation analysis sometimes contributes to such an undertaking. That analysis looks at the number of times a patent applicant cites to the original patent in the company’s portfolio, which “may provide a rough indication of the technology’s value.” The idea is that competitors don’t waste legal resources on what they perceive to be dry holes.