Patent Due Diligence – Patents

Prior to purchasing or selling a patent, here are some things to consider.The value of the patent will depend upon the claims – its heart. Use of absolute claim language, claims that require multiple parties for infringement, or claims containing very specific narrow limitations, are examples of claim faults that can lower a patent’s value.The value of the patent will be impacted by what happened during prosecution before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), or other examination entity. Specifically, arguments and amendments made to obtain allowance of the claims, such as those made to overcome prior art rejections, impact claim scope.Similarly, the value of the patent may be impacted by prosecution events for foreign or U.S. related cases. Though the legal standards for patentability vary country-to-country, arguments or amendments made or prior art uncovered may impact claim scope and value.Other issues, such as defects in title, failure to comply with the Duty of Candor owed to the USPTO during prosecution of the patent, or limited or missing claim types, may likely impact a patent’s worth.Of course, the technical field of the invention, including whether the area is crowded with prior art or the patent is a more pioneering case, whether the patent at issue came early or late to the game in that particular technical field, and whether it covers what players in that technical field are practicing in commerce, impact value.Whether you are considering selling your patent or purchasing one, patent due diligence leads to an informed transaction.