IPNav has developed a useful questionnaire to help IP owners establish a patent monetization strategy. Here are some sample questions:
What are the patent owner’s financial goals? Is there an immediate need for cash? Is earning a high return a priority? A patent sale and indirect licensing (licensing to a non-practicing entity which enforces the patent) can bring in cash up front, but at the cost of reduced upside potential.
How risk averse is the owner? Patent sales and indirect licensing can be lower risk than direct licensing, since these methods produce cash up front.
How actively does the owner want to be involved in the monetization process? Direct licensing of patents requires the owner to be involved in making decisions about the monetization campaign.
Is the patent in question on technology that is part of the organization’s core business? Does the organization plan to develop additional technology in this area? If the technology is part of the patent owner’s core business, the owner will need to retain ownership rights, or at least broad and irrevocable license rights.
What is the patent’s remaining economic life? A patent with only a short “shelf life” remaining must be monetized quickly, or its value will be lost.