Due Diligence for Patents – Comparing your invention to an internal product roadmap.
Inventions with internal business value will map to your internal product roadmap. These patents are used to protect your products from direct copying and create a defensible space for you to operate.
There are two main factors to consider for this analysis: the likelihood of the invention shipping with a product and the relative importance of the invention. In order to score the internal business value, the two factors will be combined or multiplied.
Relating to the invention to the product line can be gauged on a five-point scale:
- No resources assigned to invention.
- Feasibility stage resources only.
- Resources committed to implementation.
- Invention likely to ship in the following product cycle.
- Invention committed to ship in current product cycle.
Relating the invention the product can be done quantitatively or qualitatively. A qualitative analysis may use a point scale such as:
- Supplemental aspect of product.
- Improvement to product.
- Key feature of product.
- Important aspect of product strategy.
- Key aspect of product strategy.
A quantitative analysis may attempt to find a dollar value of the invention to the product. The dollar value may be calculated by determining a cost to design around the feature, or by allocating a percentage of value of the total price of the product to the specific invention.
A design around cost analysis may evaluate the cost of producing the product with the invention against the cost of producing the product without the invention but with the same general benefit to the customer.
An allocation method may evaluate the market price of the end product with and without the invention.
The quantitative analyses may only be applicable in certain circumstances where the invention and product lend themselves to these types of analyses. When the quantitative analyses are available, they are generally preferable to qualitative analyses.