Today’s post is authored by Abdul Zindani, Deputy Assistant General Counsel, Patent Prosecution, Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc.
Often, the Patent Prosecution department in many companies is seen primarily as a quiet backroom function. Prosecution is necessary for filing and administering patents, but nonetheless it’s a cost-center – with a budget that’s a candidate for cutbacks in tough times.
At Conversant, we’re in the business of intellectual property asset management, and we have a completely different view of Prosecution. We’ve transformed Patent Prosecution into a dynamic corporate team charged with implementing a Value Growth Strategy for our intellectual property assets. Our Patent Prosecution group successfully, substantially, and regularly increases the monetary value of our own patent portfolio, and the patents and applications we manage for our partners. We think of it as “Patent Prosecution for 21st century information economy.”
A New Approach to Patent Prosecution
Ask an engineer in a technology company what they think of filing patent applications. “Necessary, tedious, a chore, time-consuming, boring,” are the polite words you’ll likely hear. Engineers readily agree that patents are necessary to protect innovation, sure. But products are successful because they win in the marketplace, not the government patent office. Stated another way, in many companies, Prosecution’s activities aren’t seen as aligned with the business strategy.
We think Prosecution’s activities must align with the company’s business strategy. Conversant is a growth-oriented intellectual property asset management company. Patents are intangible capital assets, and we’re in the business of maximizing the value of those assets. We view a patent portfolio as a capital asset portfolio, and we see Prosecution functioning as an intellectual capital asset management department whose strategic role is to optimize the value of those intellectual assets.