What determines the odds of success?

The chance of selling issued US Patents, and the price if sold, depends on seven main factors:

1. Technology Area
A patent in a technology area in which buyers are interested increases the odds of sale. Active buying is occurring in the following technology areas:
– Mobile phone technology and infrastructure
– Location-based technology
– Unified communications
– VoIP
– Augmented reality
– Search engines
– Cloud computing
– User interfaces for computers and mobile phones
– Social networks
– E-commerce and Internet advertising
– Semiconductor chips

Why we are better – As patent lawyers, we are able to interpret how your patent’s claims may apply to a particular technology area. We also know a lot about which buyers are interested in which technology areas, so we can tailor the presentation of your patent portfolio to the buyer’s particular interest area. We can target buyers who are likely to be interested rather than sending your portfolio to every company in the marketplace or simply posting your offer.

2. Evidence of Use of the Claimed Invention
Patent buyers want technologies that are used by them or their competitors. Sometimes, companies may buy a patent because they are betting the technology described will be widely adopted in the future, but the odds of selling and the bid prices are generally much lower in such cases.

Why we are better – Because we are patent attorneys experienced in patent enforcement, we are able to investigate use of your claimed invention and prepare materials demonstrating use (or a likelihood of future use) if it exists. After all, we have often drafted claim charts used at trial and in licensing negotiations.

3. Priority Date
Each claim of a patent has a priority date, and the earlier it is, the less the chance that someone can invalidate the patent by identifying one or more references that describe technology that is the same as or similar to the claimed invention.

Why we are better – We cannot change the priority date, but as patent attorneys we can review the file histories of the applications in question and determine a priority date for each claim. We can also conduct novelty searches to see what references existed before the priority date. We can analyze the claims to find distinctions from prior art. With such information we can present a patent’s true novelty in the best light.

4. Breadth of Claims
Broader claims have fewer limitations and are more desirable because they apply to a wider variety of infringing products or methods. However, a broad claim is more susceptible to attack based on prior art references. Thus, buyers are interested in the broadest claim that is still valid and enforceable.

Why we are better – As attorneys, we can identify which claims are the broadest ones that are still enforceable and can explain each claim’s scope to buyers. In addition, we may be able to explore ways of broaden your claims through further prosecution with the US Patent Office through continuations.

5. The number of patents being offered together as a portfolio
Bundling patents in a similar technology area can create synergy and make a package more attractive to buyers. Also, larger portfolios can attract “volume buyers” that prefer large portfolios because they view the transactional costs involved in reviewing and acquiring patents as prohibitive if only one or a few patent families are offered.

Why we are better – Although we will never combine your patent with those of other clients without permission, many of our sellers own large portfolios. Hoffman Patent Firm has extensive experience in mining large portfolios for value. We can assist owners of large patent portfolios in determining which patents are likely to sell and which groups of patents are likely to complement each other to create valuable synergy.

6. Quality of Drafting and Prosecution
Statements made in your application’s written description or in correspondence with the US Patent Office affect the scope of your claimed invention.

Why we are better – As patent attorneys, we can review and understand the patent’s file history. We can identify problems and recommend possible remedial actions if necessary. A patent owner has a number of options to correct problems, and we can suggest the proper one for your specific situation.

7. Encumbrances and Defects
Buyers are hesitant to invest in a patent that does not have a clear chain of title. Also, previous assertion attempts that have failed can reduce the buyer’s appetite for a patent.

Why we are better – As attorneys we can review the chain of title and provide you with advice on how to cure any defects. We can review any litigation history and explain to the potential buyer the reasons why the buyer should still be interested in the patent.

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Who you hire to represent you in a sale can also significantly change the odds of sale and the price. Our successful track record derives from being patent attorneys experienced in patent sales as well as skilled in patent law generally. We believe patent attorneys provide superior service and results over so-called “patent brokers.” click here to see why.


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