What is the cost/value curve of a patent portfolio?

Minneapolis patent attorney Steve Lundberg, founding shareholder of Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner uses a graph to show the cost/value curve of a patent portfolio.

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So you ask the question, you know, what is the cost-value curve for a patent portfolio? Well, that cost-value curve is very similar in a way to the cost-value curve for a single patent. If you invest the right amount of money in a portfolio you will maximize its value and get a return on – an ROY — that is many times greater than if you underinvest in that portfolio and try to do it on the so-called cheap.

So for example if you were to pay $1 million to obtain 500 patents those 500 patents maybe would have a value of let’s just say hypothetically $2 million because you put a certain level of effort in those. If you paid twice as much, you know, for those patents, $2 million for those 500 patents, you may end up with a valuation that’s $10 million because that extra effort where it may be come in to play on key patents to actually make many times the value of the patent that you’d get if you had it at the lower value.

So you know, it’s not always about the – the trick with developing a portfolio and setting your price points for the effort that goes into it is trying to pick a price point that maximizes the value of the portfolio at the lowest possible cost.