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Patent Portfolio Benchmarking In the Logistics Industry

Are Patents Relevant for Competitiveness in the Logistics Industry?

Written by I. Stefan

Paper category

Master Thesis


Business Administration>Supply Chain & Logistics




Master Thesis: On the general theoretical aspects of patents "Patents are the granting of exclusive rights to an invention. An invention is a product or method that usually provides a new way of doing things or provides a new technical solution to a problem." (Property rights Organization, 2013) The validity period of a patent is usually 20 years. The life cycle of a patent consists of five stages: exploration (patent scanning), setting (patent monitoring), protection, optimization, and final removal. 4.1.1. Patent portfolio In the patent portfolio, patents are classified according to their relevance. Here, the scope of protection of a certain patent and traceability of infringement are the most valuable factors. It can be further classified according to product and country. These countries must be strategically evaluated to determine their relevance to the market and production. (Gassmann and Bader, 2006) Gassmann and Bader (2006) proposed three methods for evaluating patent portfolios. The first method is a univariate method, which relies on a qualitative indicator for portfolio comparison. The second method of evaluating investment portfolios is bivariate, which depends on turnover and number of patents. The third method is based on three variables: relative patent position, technological attractiveness, and technological importance (significance). This in turn can be described as a three-dimensional representation of the patent portfolio. From a quantitative point of view, there are significantly more evaluation methods for patent portfolios (Gassmann and Bader, 2006) 4.1.2. Patent indicators are used to measure patent portfolios from different perspectives. The indicator can indicate the number of the claim or the number of times the patent has been cited. In addition, it is sometimes believed that patent counts are related to the patent portfolio of the evaluation company. However, not all patents have the same market value, so the number of patents may prove to be an inaccurate measure. (Baron and Delcamp, 2010) When referring to Table 2 related to the methodology of this article, as described in the previous methodology chapter, PatentSight software tools and their indicators are mainly based on forward and backward references and household size. Why is citation important and used as an indicator of patent quality? If a patent covers certain technical concepts that are under active research, the patents generated by future R&D investments in this technical field are likely to cite the above-mentioned patents. Therefore, if patents are cited more frequently, they will become more technically relevant and therefore more valuable. (Ernst & Young, 2011) 4.2. Patent analysis Patent analysis represents a specific evaluation of the patent information of competitors. The purpose of patent analysis is to: evaluate the company’s own competitive advantages avoid investing time and effort on patented technologies evaluate competitors’ technology strategies identify competitors’ current and future core competitiveness identify potential new supplies Identify potential alliances of existing competitors and their subcontractor partners Analyze patent content with reference to technology and alternative potential; especially analysis of emerging technologies Identify potential licensing partners Optimize your own patent application strategy ( Defense against attacks, etc.) It should be noted that it may take 3-4 years from applying for a patent to obtaining a patent to become relevant to the market. (Michaeli, 2006) 4.2.1. Patent strategy From the perspective of patent management, the company's positioning can refer to: product and technology, market, and financial framework. The patent strategy must consider the company as a whole while also considering each business unit. The main question is: "How should companies position when using patent strategies?" (Gassmann and Bader, 2006) There are several important factors for a successful patent strategy. First, it must conform to the company's overall strategy. Patent strategy should also be adapted to the amount of resources and psychological pressure the company has. Other important factors should include relying on previous experience and understanding the goal of transparency. Patent strategies can also be divided into offensive and defensive types. The offensive strategy is based on the company's strategy. The defensive patent strategy aims to minimize the impact of third-party companies' patent strategies on themselves. Large companies are particularly inclined to use hybrid patent strategies, which include elements of offensive and defensive strategies. (Gassmann and Bader, 2006) The increase in the size of the patent portfolio indicates an offensive patent strategy. In litigation cases, the size of the patent portfolio is also important. More specifically, companies with larger patent portfolios have greater "bargaining power." (Fischer & Henkel, 2013) However, the sole purpose of patents is not to deter competitors. Patents may bring value to the company they own through open innovation practices—for example, by licensing them to other companies. This may bring additional benefits to the owning company, such as positive brand exposure. (Fischer and Henkel, 2013) Read Less