Patents provide maximum value to a manufacturer when the claims cover the products the company makes and sells from a variety of perspectives. Surprisingly, not all manufacturers fully exploit this opportunity when developing patent portfolios.
For example, when we started working with a manufacturer of 3D printing equipment twelve years ago, the company already had an established patent portfolio covering a variety of 3D printing methods and systems. The company, however, had not pursued protection for its powder compositions, even though selling powder to its customers is an important revenue stream.
Despite the fact than many of the powders are based on common materials, we addressed this gap in coverage by developing an innovative claim strategy, drawn to the unique powder morphology, making it particularly well suited for 3D printing. By the time the company was acquired by a 3D industry leader, we had obtained for the company a number of key patents to protect its powder composition business.
Thus, to increase your company’s enterprise value, consider consulting with a patent attorney to make sure that the company is maximizing the value and reach of its patent claims, so that the company is best positioned as a market leader from an IP perspective.
Similarly, when assessing your patent portfolio, confirm that pending and issued patent claims cover the products sold by the company, especially consumables, enabling the company to control its market opportunities to the greatest extent possible.