Mass High Tech published my article, "The reasons for building 'super patent' portfolios" in their April 18th edition. Some ideas from the article:
One approach that has gained some traction recently is that of a "super patent," a "portfolio of portfolios" with a common theme or focus area. Thematic examples include wireless communications, RFIDs, microprocessors, memory chips, bar codes and computer security.
Among the many benefits provided by such a high-volume, broad portfolio approach is a strong defense against competitors armed with their own patents. Super-patent portfolios are likely to deter litigation because of "mutually assured destruction," to borrow a Cold War concept. Conversely, broad portfolios increase the incentives for cross-licensing and co-existence among competitors in similar markets.
The online version omits the sidebar, which is reproduced here:
Other benefits of building "super patent" portfolios
- Improve bargaining position in dealing with licensees, customers, and suppliers, because the breadth and depth of the portfolio may appear unassailable.
- Attract related external innovations, since other companies may approach the stronger player with offers to license or sell innovations related to its Super Patent portfolio.
- Facilitate subsequent in-house innovation, since an expanding portfolio may provide a foundation for elaborating and extending one’s own technology platforms to other products, services, or markets.
- Facilitate patent assertion when others are practicing the Super Patent portfolio inventions without a license.
- Avoid lengthy and costly litigation, because infringers are more likely to settle with a company that has a strong IP position.