Auditing patent portfolio for strategic exploitation: A decision support framework for intellectual property managers

Grimaldi, M., Cricelli, L., Rogo, F.    

Journal of Intellectual Capital



Several causes may induce firm managers to analyze the actual technology condition of patent portfolios, among which is the need of exploiting patents strategically. In this paper, the question of how to support intellectual property (IP) managers of large high technology companies in their strategic decision-making process of evaluating patents is examined. The purpose of this paper is to provide a decision support framework that suggests the suitable exploitation strategy for patents.


The paper proposes an audit framework able to point out whether patents are aligned to the overall business strategy, to select those that are not aligned, and to identify the most appropriate exploitation strategy for each patent of the portfolio. The framework is structured into two phases: in the first one, patents are selected through the analysis of four dimensions that characterize the value of patents effectively; in the second one, a questionnaire is distributed to IP managers in order to support their decision on patents. The paper illustrates case-based applications of the framework.


Results of applications show that the framework is able to suggest IP managers the suitable exploitation strategy on four possible alternatives (maintaining, licensing, selling, abandoning) for each patent of their portfolios.


The framework is an innovative and valuable tool to IP managers, and besides its structural formulation, it is appreciable in terms of application expedition and efficiency of performance.


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