Patent valuation is the determination of the economic value of patent rights. There are several reasons for evaluating patents, such as the sale of a patent or a patent portfolio, accounting reasons, the safeguarding of credits, or the strategy related to foreign applications. Also in the scope of so-called due diligence analyses, expert opinions assessing a company’s patents are required.

To this end, an expert (expert in patent valuation) furnishes a written opinion (valuation opinion), specifying basic information, the valuation method and the result as a monetary value. Patent valuation experts are, for example, patent attorneys having the required legal and technical knowledge in the respective field. Basis of the patent valuation are usually the legal, technical and economic determining parameters, examples of which are given in the following table.

Determining parameters for Patent Valuation (Examples)

Legal Technical Economic
  • territorial scope (national, regional (EPC), international)
  • legal validity (patent application or patent, oppositions, nullity proceedings)
  • scope of protection (scope of the claims)
  • dependence on other patents
  • remaining lifetime of a patent
  • level of development of the innovation
  • alternative solutions
  • type of the invention (basic invention or simple development)
  • material savings, etc.
  • application possibilities
  • contribution to the overall product
  • market potential
  • licensing potential
  • license fees for comparable products/methods customary in the trade
  • barriers to market entry
  • profitability
  • profit margin
  • competitive environment

There are different methods for evaluating patents, which are applied dependant on available basic information and on the aim of the valuation. Should you have any questions regarding this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us. A selection of specialist literature is listed below.

Literature regarding Patent Valuation

Ensthaler/Strübbe, Patentbewertung – Ein Praxisleitfaden zum Patentmanagement
Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1. Auflage 2006, ISBN 3-540-344413-6
http://books.google.com/books?id=l7ODXHFa1JEC

Rings, Patentbewertung – Methoden und Faktoren zur Wertermittlung technischer Schutzrechte,
GRUR 2000, 839 – 848

Rings, Valuation of Patents, Patentworld, Mai 2002, 19 – 22

Wurzer/Reinhardt, Bewertung technischer Schutzrechte – Praxis der Patentbewertung
Carl Heymanns Verlag, Köln, 1. Auflage, 2006, ISBN 3-452-25737-1
http://books.google.com/books?id=FrFMAQAACAAJ