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Patent Assertion

Tackling in-bound patent risk

Economic recession can lead to an increase in litigation, from both NPEs and failing operating companies where patents are often the last asset standing. You need to be able to respond to any threat quickly.  With Cipher you can efficiently and effectively assess the relevance of large portfolios and be equipped with an evidence based response to the threat.

Whatever your perspective, no-body wants to be unprepared for litigation. In today’s environment, the risks are so large that you want to be ready. While figuring out whether you have a balanced portfolio is hard, it’s something that more and more companies are taking very seriously.

Erik Oliver, COO, Richardson Oliver Insights

Over 75% of patent owners surveyed agree that a well-balanced patent portfolio reduces the risk of patent litigation

Cipher Report on Portfolio Optimisation 2020

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Have you ever asked these questions?

How can I prepare my organisation for the patent risks ahead?

Many organisations use economic models (such as the Cipher Optimisation Model) to develop a patent strategy that anticipates and mitigate the risk posed by owners of ‘relevant to technologies’ you deploy.

How do I assess relevance when faced with a whole portfolio assertion?

Very often companies seek to extract royalties from you without a proper understanding of what their own portfolio includes or its relevance to your organisation. Cipher can cluster portfolios and efficiently compare them to patents you own and what you do, which often eliminates the vast majority of an asserted portfolio.

What’s the best way to quantify the potential to counter-assert?

Where operating companies assert their portfolios, they often fail to properly assess the counter-assertion risk. Cipher enables you to map your portfolio onto the aggressor’s technologies and revenue which often suggests an efficient and low-cost solution to what otherwise could be a protracted dispute.

If these are your issues, Cipher can help you.

You want to put every dollar invested in patents towards its highest and best use. If you anticipate increased competitive threats in the future, you want to make sure that your resource allocation is commensurate with those forward-looking threats.

Jared Engstrom, Head of Patent Development, Red Hat

How to use Cipher to handle in-bound patent assertion


Focus on what’s relevant

Use Cipher clustering or classifiers to eliminate all patents that do not relate to technologies you use


Model to view the impact

Focus on specific patented technologies and combine with revenue data using the SPI model 


Assess counter-assertion

Use Cipher to identify areas where your portfolio maps to their patented technologies and revenues


Actionable intelligence

Be ready to use the analysis to respond to an assertion or model outcomes

Helping to tackle PAE risk

Management of Patent Assertion Entity (PAE, also referred to as NPEs) risk includes taking prudent steps to avoid your patents being used to increase PAE litigation. Cipher supports LOTNet and our data is used to communicate the relevance of the over 2,500,000 patent assets within LOTNet.

Insights and Events


COVID 19: Mitigating the Impact of Patent Budget Cuts in Recession

Covid-19 has caused greater scrutiny of patent budgets and a need to cut costs – so where are you supposed to start?
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Beyond portfolio optimisation – calculating the value of rightsizing

View our webinar discussing results of the Cipher Report on Portfolio Optimisation and the optimisation model that can help you balance your portfolio.
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How Many Patents Are Enough?

Are you looking to optimise your patent portfolio but aren’t sure where to start?
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Case Studies

Red Hat on using the Cipher Optimisation Model

Jared Engstrom, Head of Patent Development, talks about the growth in Red Hat’s portfolio, how he has used Cipher’s custom classifiers and how the Cipher Optimisation model has improved their understanding of the competitive landscape.
Read more

Richardson Oliver Insights on the challenges of IP Teams

COO of Richardson Oliver Insights, Erik Oliver, talks about the challenges faced by IP teams with managing high value portfolios and the increased demand for both better data and better ways to communicate the value of patents.
Read more

Seagate on keeping up with technology changes

Chief Intellectual Property Counsel at Seagate, Bob Pechman explains the pressures of supporting the business during a period of rapid technological change and how Cipher helps see the patent landscape through Seagate’s own technology lens.
Read more

Patent Assertion

Is the approach different when facing NPEs?

NPEs are generally not concerned with counter-assertion risk if they have no substantive operating income. However, there will be many companies who will still seek to licence their whole portfolio, without proper consideration of the relevance to the potential licensee. Forcing a licensor to articulate which part of their portfolio, is an important first step towards dispute resolution.

What’s the difference between clustering and classification?

Clustering is a way of assessing whole portfolios, using unsupervised ML to separate the portfolio into different technology ‘buckets’. This is an essential first step when seeking to sweep away all irrelevant or unrelated patents. Classifiers map patents to specific technologies or revenue streams and are customised to your internal taxonomies or ‘technology lens’. Find out more about how Cipher classifies patents using ML here.

Why should another patent owner believe our assessment?

Cipher is objective and repeatable. The accuracy of Cipher has been independently verified. Cipher subscribers are free to share reports with third parties who can validate the results or come up with evidence-based objections. In many cases the cost of manual review is exactly the reason why a sweeping portfolio-wide assertion was made in the first place.

With Cipher you can also…

Gather competitor intelligence

Understand who’s doing what by automating patent to technology mapping.

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Model cross licensing

Combine patent and revenue data to determine rational licensing outcomes.

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Manage your budget

Justify patent budgets to CFOs and others to communicate the impact of your investment.

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Optimise your Portfolio

Ensure you have the right portfolio to meet your strategic patenting objectives.

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Conduct due diligence

Automate manual reviews for efficient execution of M&A and licensing transactions.

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Benchmark your portfolio

Assess your portfolio in comparison to other owners through your own technology lens.

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Monetise your portfolio

Identify opportunities to create value through licensing or sale of patent assets.

Read more

Why Cipher

Trained by humans, built by machine to give you independently verified accuracy

“Cipher’s classifiers enable you to understand the patent landscape or analyze a portfolio. Combining expertise in both IP and data science, Cipher provides you with solutions to the strategic problems patent owners face, with quick and accurate results.” Erik Oliver, Richardson Oliver Insights

Why Cipher

Improve your patent strategy now

Speak to one of our Cipher team today.