Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property)

Q: Is it possible to know the value of the patent?

Hi, I'm a university student from Mexico, studying a course about "Patent, Brands & Franchises".

For a homework I was wondering if,

Is it possible to know the value of a patent?

Is there a website/platform where I can find the value of them?

Thank you for your time.

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: A patent is a fence around an orchard. The patent fence keeps others from stealing your apples from your tree. However, if your orchard is not well tended and is not generating any apples worth eating, then the fence is not very useful.

Further, if you chose to grow a bitter fruit that no one wants, then your fence is not very useful.

Many patents are not renewed through the payment of maintenance fees. For companies with less than 500 employees that first two fees are $800 and $1800 and many patents are not renewed so that is one indicia of value of those patents to those owners (and their inability to get anyone else to buy or license the patent).

More specifically, a patent allows someone to protect market share and profit margin against competitors. BUT this is only true if you have locked up access to a feature on the product that people care about. If you have locked up one of nineteen ways to do a task on a cell phone, that might not be worth much at all. Conversely, if you have locked up the early patents on minimally invasive surgery, you may be paid a billion dollars.

So while it is possible to put a price on a patent or a portfolio of patents, this is a fact specific inquiry and does not lend itself to a general rule.

While this is not a complete answer to your question, I hope that it is helpful.

Kevin E Flynn

Kathryn Perales agrees with this answer

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