Research and Development(R&D) 101 / Invention Assessment


Ekrem Ayhan Çakay

Intellectual Property (IP) Management
Research and Development(R&D) 101 / Invention Assessment

During R&D studies, all the inventors, whether individuals, small businesses, or even major enterprises, want to know how much their inventions are worth. Regrettably, there is no secret method for figuring this out. The worth of your creation is decided by whether it is patentable, how much money you can make selling items or services under the patent, and any licensing fees you can get from others interested in your invention.

It is obvious that the evaluation of inventions has a great importance both in rewarding the performance of the employees and in prioritizing the inventions. Multidimensional and interdisciplinary evaluation methodologies are applied in the studies in the literature. It varies considerably depending on the field of activity. Basically, invention evaluation and ranking can be examined under 4 different categories. Before all, it should be stated which type of technology or technologies the invention has. According to that statement, all the question set can be altered remarkably because of the distinctive market and development characteristics of technologies.

Although there are countless technology taxonomy methodologies, there are 6 major different technology types in terms of our experience and academic based invention assessment methodology. One can choose sole or mixed options among them to identify the most related metrics.

  • Mechanical
  • Electronics
  • Chemical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Software
  • Process

For example, while the development of a drug formulation can directly affect the profitability of the company, the effect of an invention that provides ease of assembly in machines is quite indirect and different inquiries are needed to measure its effect.

The invention assessment criteria, which are listed below and examined under four headings, have been developed by the TLS.IP expert staff on an academic and experience-based. An invention valuation can also be reached by arranging the following headings with various weighting, scoring and decision making algorithms. One can contact for the professional support with TLS.IP.

1. Design capability

The main expectation from inventions is somewhat paradoxical. For example, it should be structured in such a way that alternative designs cannot be made by competitors and that it is relatively easy in terms of manufacturability. In the design-around evaluation, some questions may arise that need to be answered or the R&D studies to be expanded further. The main ones are whether there is a substitute product or method for the invention, if there is, how many times it can be superior in terms of price / performance, how difficult it is in terms of manufacturability, what degree of value proposition it offers compared to the cost disadvantage it brings, or what kind of investment (laboratory, license, equipment) is required for the realization of the invention. Design-arounds, for example, are regarded very simple in the realm of vaccinations. It is frequently possible to build an alternative that does not infringe on the original invention by using the original patent as a guide.

2. Patentability

Whether or not the invention can be patented is a rather game-changer phase in prioritizing the invention. Since the patent application will create many legal and financial obligations, it is very critical to disclose the detailed information of the invention to the competitors. The main evaluation criteria are how new the invention is (from a new scientific finding to a routine solution), how easily it can be detected when applied by competitors, the size of competition in that field (competitor and portfolio size), and previous invention and article histories of inventors.

3. Internal Business Plan

Each applicant company or person acts within the framework of a specific internal business plan. Therefore, measuring the extent to which the invention overlaps with them is also considered a criterion. The main evaluation criteria can be counted as how compatible the company or person is with the core plan, how important the invention is in the product, whether it has a marketing and advertising value to the customer, and the potential to expand the invention to product ranges other than the main product or service group.

4. External Business Plan

Similar to the internal business plan, companies or individuals also have an external-oriented business plan. In companies where inventions are generally developed with an approach called top-down and completely trend-oriented companies, the external business value is generally quite high. A similar situation is experienced in the method called bottom-up, which is more difficult to manage but has a higher innovative character. The main evaluation criteria are the launch/first sale or molding date of the product or method, whether it is related to a need that competitors directly deal with, what degree of licensing potential it has outside the regular markets, its potential to become an industry standard in all competition, the growth rate and profitability of the market to which the invention got involved, the effect of the invention on profitability and in which geographies it should exist in terms of production, sales, marketing and commercialization.

Thanks to the score card feature available in the Techin2B platform, inventions, ideas or products can be evaluated very easily and shared with the desired person. Moreover, a fully interactive evaluation is made with the help of a digital mentor. All you need to do to create a score card for the desired person or institution is to make a few clicks on the Techin2B platform(Figure 1).

Figure 1




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