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What’s Your Patent Utilization Rate?

Posted December 2, 2019February 15th, 2024by No Comments

The US Patent and Trademark Office has issued over 10 million utility patents to this date under its current numbering system, which dates back to 1836.  That’s 10 million patents and counting!

Let’s step back and get a perspective on it – that’s an enormous number, not just in terms of the gross number of patents by themselves but in terms of the time and resources invested to secure those patent assets.

How are we, then, utilizing these patent assets or what is “patent utilization rate,” which denotes the percentage of all the patents that have been licensed or put to use?  The typical patent utilization rate is no more than 5%.  That means more than 95% of patent assets are never put to work before they expire.

Let’s take a look at how companies are responding to this issue by looking at some stats:

Top 5 patent sellers by number of assets in 2019

Seller Number of Patents Technology
IBM 1,234 Computer, Software, Healthcare
Global Foundries 329 Semiconductors
Cypress Semiconductor 296 Semiconductors
Osterhout Design Group 191 AR, VR
Technicolor 184 Multimedia, Video Audio

As can be seen above, patent utilization market is driven by companies making efforts to put patents to good use including through the sale of such patents.  How each company wants to play a role in the market is up to the particular company’s needs and overall strategy.   We provide assistance to our clients with their needs for patent asset acquisition and patent asset transactions.  Please contact us should you wish to discuss how to better your patent utilization rate.