Landscapes | When it comes time to create a patent portfolio, patent landscapes show you what others have done and exposes the white-spaces of opportunity. This information is useful and shines a light on the patentable merit of your own harvested ideas.
Idea bundling | Strategies to protect as many ideas as possible, in as few patent applications as you can, create different kinds of much-needed flexibility. For example, buying time to shift the direction of ideas as the development team makes progress or when Marketing engages and forces a course correction.
This technique is also really helpful in fast-changing emerging technology areas, where business models are being tested, when competitors may be poised to disrupt, or like in my startup when there are just way more ideas than budget and you have to shoestring-it to make it all fit.
Macro trends | Less obvious is how one might look into the future and predict which ideas are going to be more valuable than others. Like a crystal ball.
A macro-trend analysis looks at the interrelationships between Consumer, Technical, and Business insights and links relevant social trends with patentable ideas in an attempt to capture the future. This is a technique I have developed over many years and is one of my most favorite studies to do and portfolios to create.
What's right for you | Putting it all together there are lots of ways to protect your Company's greatest innovations. Empowering Associates to think big, collaborating to harvest good ideas, and developing patent portfolios to create competitive advantage are some of the areas. Different situations warrant different approaches and getting started is the best way to explore.