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Patent Portfolio Management: The Key to Protecting Innovation

Patent Portfolio Management: The Key to Protecting Innovation

News 02/01/2024

Patents are the lifeblood of innovation, granting creators and businesses the exclusive rights to their inventions for a finite duration. However, without effective patent portfolio management, even the most formidable intellectual property (IP) portfolio can succumb to pitfalls, such as the lapsing of patents.

In today's rapidly changing technological landscape, it is more important than ever for businesses to safeguard their innovations through effective patent portfolio management. By following best practices and partnering with experienced patent experts, businesses can ensure that their patents remain a source of strength and innovation.

Types of Patents and Durations

There are three main types of IP rights to protect innovations: patents, registered designs, and plant variety rights. Patents are the most common type and protect new and inventive processes, machines, devices, compositions of matter, and improvements thereof. Registered designs protect new aesthetic creations and designs for products and other articles of manufacture. Plant variety rights protect new and distinct varieties of plants that have been reproduced asexually through cuttings or grafting.

Patents typically last for up to 20 years from the filing date. Registered designs last for up to 25 years from the registration date. Plant variety rights last for 20 years from the filing date.

Benefits of a Strong Patent Portfolio

A strong patent portfolio can provide businesses with a number of benefits, including:

  • Competitive edge: Patents can help businesses to maintain a competitive edge by preventing others from copying their innovations.


  • Market presence: Patents can help businesses to establish and maintain a strong market presence by giving them exclusive rights to their inventions.


  • Legal protection: Patents can provide businesses with legal tools to defend against infringement assertions from a competitor. This can be particularly important in industries where innovation is rapid and competition is fierce.


  • Investment potential: A strong patent portfolio can be attractive to investors, as it signals that a business has a valuable portfolio of intellectual property.


Identifying Patentable Inventions

You might be surprised to know that not all inventions are patentable. To be patentable, an invention must be new, and not obvious. In order to assess whether an invention is patentable, it is important to consult with an experienced patent attorney.

Filing and Prosecuting Patent Applications

Once you have determined that your invention is patentable, you can file a patent application with the relevant patent office. The patent application process can be complex, so it is important to work with a patent attorney having the necessary expertise.

Maintaining and Enforcing Patents

Once you have been granted a patent, you need to maintain it by paying annual renewal fees. You may also consider enforcing your patent by taking action against anyone who infringes on your exclusive monopoly.

Here are a few examples of businesses that have benefited from effective patent portfolio management:

  • Universities and Research Institutions: Many universities and research institutions generate valuable intellectual property through their research activities. Effective patent portfolio management allows them to license their technologies to businesses or spin-out start-ups, generating revenue and fostering innovation.


  • Pharmaceutical Companies: Pharmaceutical companies heavily rely on patents to protect their drug discoveries. Effective patent management ensures that these companies can maintain exclusivity on their products, allowing them to recoup research and development costs and generate substantial profits.


  • As an example Apple has over 95,500 patents globally, of which approx. 78,000 are active. This makes Apple one of the largest patent holders in the world. The company's patent portfolio is a valuable asset that helps it to maintain its competitive edge in the technology industry.


Effective patent portfolio management is essential for businesses that want to protect their innovations and maintain a competitive edge in the market. By partnering with Secerna and adopting proactive strategies, businesses can ensure their patents remain a source of strength and innovation, with dedicated support for nurturing innovation at every turn.

Our team of experienced patent attorneys can provide you with the guidance and support you need to develop and implement a robust IP strategy, protect your patents from infringement actions, and maximize the value of your IP assets.

We are committed to supporting innovation, and we understand that patent portfolio management is a key component of this. We offer a range of services to help businesses at all stages of the innovation process, from identifying patentable inventions to filing and prosecuting patent applications to maintaining and enforcing patents.

Whether you are a start-up or a multinational corporation, Secerna can help you to safeguard your innovations and achieve your business goals. Get in touch to find out how we can support you. Email: