In certain corners, it’s now commonplace to estimate value of technology by the number of patents protecting an asset. But it’s critically important to remember that an issued patent is only the beginning.
As a bundle of rights, a patent represents only a potential value — a promise that patent rights are valid and can be enforced against competitors to control commercial activity. But assessing validity and enforceability requires a relatively complex and nuanced legal analysis. What is more, recent developments in the law have redefined validity and enforceability two key areas discussed below that may, in some cases, decrease a patent’s value.