I recently read a post on Beyond Search Beyond Search – Patent Research, that discusses an article on PatentPoints.com about patent research being best left to professionals.  Patents are hot, in the news everywhere, and extremely valuable / lucrative.  This can be seen in the Apple consortium’s buy of the Nortel patents or in Forbes.com ‘s article on Google’s recent interest in Interdigital Forbes on Google – Interdigital.

There is a lot of money to be made and lost in patents, if the process is not handle as completely as possible (for example RIM’s >$600m purchase of patents that ended up mostly being invalid.  So while I think Mr. Arnold does a good job talking about the value of thorough patent research and need to use the resources of professionals, I don’t think he goes far enough in his argument.  While he cites Article One Partners (AOP), I don’t think he emphasizes enough the incremental value added by  a large crowd sourcing outfit like AOP.  Being able to tap into a million researchers that search not only English but foreign documents, coupled with charts and tables and other non-text prior art searches is invaluable in my mind.  I honestly don’t see why even the largest patent attorneys wouldn’t want to supplement their prior art searches with a company like AOP.  The incremental spend vs. the amount of money at risk isn’t even close – it my view, it should be part of every patent firm’s fiduciary duty – otherwise, the patent research just isn’t complete.

Posted by Robert Peck CFA at 8/12/2011 8:01 AM