This is a transcript from a section of the course “Patents 340 – Invention Rating Checklist,” which is available here at IP.Education.
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Alignment to Internal Business Plan
Lets get into the checklist element – alignment to business plan.
The most important level – level 5 – is when the invention is ready to ship.
Products that contain the invention are the best we can achieve in bringing the product to market.
Level 4 is that the invention is likely to ship in the next product cycle.
While level 3 is that resources are devoted to implementation.
Level 2 is that the invention is in a feasibility stage, while level 1 is that no resources are assigned to the invention.
These levels are often used in larger companies with ongoing research and development.
There may be several products progressing through the development phase at different stages.
The inventions that are closest to – and most likely to ship – are the ones where we want patent protection.
This makes sense.
Think about your product – or the patent – as something in which your company will invest.
An investment in a product is protected and leveraged by a well-crafted patent.
Similarly, an investment in a patent is protected and leveraged by an investment in product development and marketing.
When you align the product development and its patents, you are multiplying the value of both.
This seems pretty obvious, so why am I beating this point?
It is because there are huge number of patents that never actually get to market.
They do not make it to market because they have some fatal flaw or because a better solution is found later.
This factor in the checklist is about eliminating the risks of a patent.
The closer the invention is to being shipped in a product, the more we have worked on it and are confident that it will be a good, commercial product.
Inventions that are still in the lab and at the concept stage have a much higher level of uncertainty.
That just makes sense.