Patent Granted: Now What? A Guide to Your Post-Patent Strategy

Home / Blog / Patent Monitoring / Patent Granted: Now What? A Guide to Your Post-Patent Strategy


Securing a patent is a momentous feat, but it’s just the opening chapter of an inventor’s adventure. After the celebrations, you step into a realm where strategic decisions shape the future.  

Will you guard your patent like a dragon hoards treasure, or share it through licensing? Perhaps you’ll sell it to the highest bidder or defend it against infringement. Each choice can turn your patent from a mere document into a dynamic asset that fuels your ambitions and success. 

Table of Contents

Before We Proceed 

But before we delve into the post-patent landscape, let’s take a moment to ensure we’re clear on what a patent is. Understanding its significance and implications will serve as a solid foundation for navigating the terrain ahead. So, let’s briefly explore the essence of patents—the bedrock of innovation and safeguarding intellectual property. 

What is a Patent? 

In the simplest terms, a patent is a legal shield. It’s the government’s way of giving you a high-five and exclusive rights to your invention. Think of it as a “Keep Out” sign that tells others they can’t make, use, or sell your creation without a nod from you. 

Why Patents Matter 

Patents are more than just legal bragging rights; they’re business muscle. They protect your hard work from copycats and give you a temporary monopoly to cash in on your creativity. Whether it’s a new gadget that revolutionizes morning routines or a drug that could save lives, patents keep the spirit of innovation alive and kicking. 

Types of Patents: A Trio of Protection 

  • Utility Patents: The most common type. If your invention does something or works in a new way, this is your go-to patent. It covers machines, processes, and even compositions of matter. Imagine inventing a collapsible bicycle wheel – that’s utility patent territory. 
  • Design Patents: All about looks. If your product has a unique appearance or aesthetic, this patent keeps it safe from design thieves. Picture a sleek, never-seen-before chair design; that’s where a design patent shines. 
  • Plant Patents: The green thumbs aren’t left out. This one’s for anyone who’s bred a new type of plant. It’s not about GMOs but about new varieties of, say, roses or tomatoes that naturally occur. 

In a Nutshell 

A patent is your idea’s best friend. It’s the assurance that your bright spark is yours alone, at least for a while. It’s the business tool that can turn “Eureka!” moments into tangible success. Whether your brainchild is a device, a dashing design, or a delightful dahlia variant, the patent system has a place for it. 

Understanding Patent Maintenance Fees

Keeping Your Patent Alive  

Congratulations on securing your patent! Now, let’s talk about the fine print—maintenance fees. Think of them as annual dues to keep your patent in good standing. They’re the subscription fees for your patent’s longevity and continued protection. 

Breaking Down Maintenance Fees 

Maintenance fees typically apply to patents and are due at specific intervals after the patent is granted. The schedule usually spans several years, with fees increasing at each interval. It’s like paying property taxes, but for your intellectual property. 

Timing is Everything 

Missing a maintenance fee deadline can have consequences. It’s like forgetting to renew your car registration; you risk losing your patent altogether. The USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) doesn’t send friendly reminders, so mark those dates on your calendar and keep those payments current. 

Patent Maintenance Fee Schedule 

Patent maintenance fees for utility patents are due at specific intervals after your patent is granted. You have payment windows at 3 to 3.5 years, 7 to 7.5 years, and 11 to 11.5 years post-issuance without a surcharge. If you miss these, there are grace periods at 3.5 to 4 years, 7.5 to 8 years, and 11.5 to 12 years with a surcharge. 

Consequences of Non-payment 

Failure to pay maintenance fees on time can result in your patent expiring prematurely. Once it expires, your invention becomes fair game for anyone to use, manufacture, or sell without fear of legal repercussions. It’s like leaving the door wide open for competitors to swoop in and capitalize on your hard work. 

Navigating the Maze 

Navigating the maze of patent maintenance fees can be daunting, but it’s a crucial aspect of patent ownership. Stay vigilant, keep track of deadlines, and ensure timely payments to safeguard your patent and maintain your competitive edge in the marketplace.  

After all, protecting your intellectual property is not just about securing a patent—it’s about preserving your innovation and maximizing its potential impact. 

The Importance of Patent Monitoring

Patent Monitoring: A Strategic Imperative 

In the dynamic realm of innovation, securing a patent is just the beginning of a journey fraught with challenges and opportunities. As an inventor or a business owner, it’s essential to recognize that the mere acquisition of a patent doesn’t guarantee protection or success.  

Enter patent monitoring—an indispensable practice that goes beyond the issuance of a patent, ensuring vigilant safeguarding of your intellectual property and strategic navigation of the competitive landscape. 

Understanding Patent Monitoring Practice 

At its core, patent monitoring involves the systematic tracking of patents within specific fields or industries to identify potential infringements, monitor competitors’ activities, and capitalize on emerging opportunities.  

Traditionally, this practice was executed manually, requiring painstaking searches through patent databases and exhaustive analysis of patent documents. However, in today’s digital age, advancements in technology have revolutionized patent monitoring, offering sophisticated software solutions that automate and streamline the process with unparalleled efficiency and accuracy. 

The Benefits of Patent Monitoring 

The benefits of patent monitoring extend far beyond the realm of protection—they encompass strategic foresight, informed decision-making, and competitive advantage.  

By diligently monitoring patent activity, inventors and businesses can stay abreast of the latest advancements in their fields, identify emerging trends and technologies, and anticipate potential threats or opportunities.  

Moreover, patent monitoring serves as a catalyst for innovation, inspiring new ideas and driving continuous improvement in product development and market positioning. 

Types of Patent Monitoring 

Patent Granted: Now What? A Guide to Your Post-Patent Strategy

Patent monitoring encompasses a spectrum of approaches tailored to different objectives and priorities. These include: 

  • Technology Monitoring: Tracking advancements in specific technologies or technical fields to identify emerging trends and opportunities for innovation. 
  • Competition Monitoring: Monitoring competitors’ patent portfolios and activities to assess their strategic positioning, identify potential threats, and capitalize on competitive weaknesses. 
  • Market Monitoring: Analyzing patent data within the broader market context to identify emerging trends, assess market dynamics, and inform strategic business decisions. 
  • Legal Monitoring: Keeping abreast of legal developments, including patent litigation, regulatory changes, and court rulings, to mitigate legal risks and ensure compliance with intellectual property laws. 

Each type of monitoring serves a unique purpose, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the intellectual property landscape and informing strategic initiatives. 

The Role of Patent Experts and Monitoring Services 

Navigating the complexities of patent monitoring requires specialized expertise and resources, which is where patent experts and monitoring services play a pivotal role. These professionals possess the knowledge, experience, and tools necessary to conduct comprehensive patent searches, interpret complex patent documents, and identify potential threats or opportunities. 

Whether conducting prior art searches, assessing infringement risks, or providing strategic guidance, patent professionals and monitoring services serve as invaluable partners in safeguarding intellectual property and driving business success. 

AI-Based Hybrid Patent Monitoring 

In recent years, the emergence of AI-based hybrid patent monitoring solutions has transformed the landscape of patent monitoring, offering unprecedented levels of efficiency, accuracy, and scalability.  

These advanced tools leverage machine learning algorithms to analyze vast amounts of patent data, identify relevant patterns and trends, and deliver real-time insights and actionable intelligence.  

By combining the speed and scalability of automation with the insight and expertise of human analysis, AI-based hybrid monitoring solutions empower inventors and businesses to proactively protect their intellectual property rights and capitalize on emerging opportunities in the marketplace. 

Initiating the Monitoring Process 

Embarking on the journey of patent monitoring begins with a clear understanding of organizational objectives, priorities, and resources. It involves defining the scope of monitoring activities, identifying relevant patents and technologies, and establishing efficient search filters in online patent databases.  

Additionally, organizations may choose to leverage the expertise of patent attorneys or monitoring services to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their monitoring efforts. 

Navigating Patent Licensing

Patent Valuation Factors 

Exploring Patent Licensing Strategies 

Patent Granted: Now What? A Guide to Your Post-Patent Strategy

Exploring patent licensing opportunities is a strategic consideration that follows the acquisition of a patent. It opens avenues for monetization and broadening the impact of the patented invention in relevant markets.
Here are some key strategies to consider: 

  1. Exclusive vs. Non-exclusive Licenses: When licensing your patent, you have the option to grant exclusive rights to a single licensee or non-exclusive rights to multiple licensees. Exclusive licenses offer greater control and potential for higher royalties but limit your ability to license to other parties. Non-exclusive licenses, on the other hand, allow for broader market penetration but may result in lower royalty rates.
  2. Geographic Scope: Consider the geographic scope of your license agreement. Will you grant rights globally, regionally, or locally? Tailoring the geographic scope to align with market demand and strategic objectives can optimize the value of your patent license.
  3. Field of Use: Define the field of use for your patent license—whether it’s limited to a specific industry, application, or technology. By restricting the field of use, you can target niche markets and maximize the value of your patent in specialized applications.

Determining the Value of Your Patent 

Assessing the value of your patent is a critical step in negotiating favorable licensing agreements.
Here are some factors to consider when
determining the value of your patent:

  1. Market Demand: Evaluate the market demand for your patented invention. Is there a significant need or desire for your technology? Assessing market demand can provide insights into the potential revenue-generating capabilities of your patent.
  2. Competitive Landscape: Analyze the competitive landscape to determine the uniqueness and competitiveness of your patented invention. Are there competing technologies or alternative solutions in the market? Understanding your position relative to competitors can inform pricing and negotiation strategies.
  3. Economic Impact: Consider the economic impact of your patented invention on potential licensees. Will it enable cost savings, revenue growth, or competitive advantages? Quantifying the economic benefits of your patent can justify higher royalty rates and enhance negotiation leverage.
  4. Technical Complexity: Assess the technical complexity and novelty of your patented invention. Is it a groundbreaking innovation with significant technical barriers to entry? Technical complexity can enhance the value of your patent by deterring potential competitors and commanding premium licensing fees.

Deciding to Sell Your Patent

Exploring the Path of Patent Sale 

The decision to sell a patent introduces a strategic pivot in managing one’s intellectual property portfolio. This choice can unlock immediate financial benefits and reallocate focus towards new innovations or core business areas. Here are some key considerations to help you navigate this exciting journey: 

I) Reasons for Selling Your Patent

There are several reasons why you might consider selling your patent: 

  • Financial Gain: Selling your patent can provide a lump sum of cash, offering immediate financial benefits. 
  • Risk Mitigation: Transferring ownership of your patent can mitigate the risks and costs associated with maintaining and enforcing it. 
  • Focus on Core Business: Selling your patent allows you to focus on your core business activities and priorities without the burden of managing intellectual property assets. 
  • Market Demand: If there is significant demand for your patent in the marketplace, selling it can capitalize on its value and generate substantial returns. 

II) The Process of Finding a Buyer 

Finding the right buyer for your patent requires careful planning and execution: 

  • Market Research: Conduct thorough market research to identify potential buyers who may have an interest in your patented invention. 
  • Networking: Utilize professional networks, industry associations, and patent brokers to connect with potential buyers and promote your patent. 
  • Marketing Materials: Develop compelling marketing materials, such as patent summaries, brochures, and presentations, to showcase the value proposition of your patent to prospective buyers. 
  • Negotiation: Engage in negotiations with interested parties to reach a mutually beneficial agreement on the terms of the patent sale, including price, payment terms, and intellectual property rights. 

III) Legal and Financial Considerations

Before selling your patent, it’s essential to consider the legal and financial implications: 

  • Due Diligence: Conduct thorough due diligence on potential buyers to assess their financial stability, reputation, and ability to fulfill the terms of the sale agreement. 
  • Legal Documentation: Prepare comprehensive legal documentation, including sale agreements, assignment documents, and non-disclosure agreements, to formalize the transaction and protect your interests. 
  • Tax Implications: Consult with tax professionals to understand the tax implications of selling your patent, including capital gains taxes and potential deductions or exemptions. 
  • Intellectual Property Rights: Ensure that you have the legal authority to sell your patent and transfer ownership rights to the buyer, including any necessary approvals from co-owners or licensing agreements. 

Dealing with Patent Infringement

Navigating the Challenges of Patent Infringement 

After a patent is granted, addressing infringement assertively is crucial for protecting the integrity and value of the patent. It involves strategic legal actions to defend the patent’s exclusivity. 
Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the complexities of patent infringement: 

I) Steps to Take if Your Patent is Infringed Upon 

Patent Granted: Now What? A Guide to Your Post-Patent Strategy

If you believe that your patent has been infringed upon, it’s crucial to act promptly and methodically: 

  • Documentation: Gather thorough documentation to support your claim of patent infringement, including copies of the infringing product or technology, relevant patent documents, and any communication with the alleged infringer. 
  • Cease and Desist Letter: Send a formal cease and desist letter to the alleged infringer, clearly outlining the infringement allegations and demanding that they cease all infringing activities immediately. This serves as a preliminary step to resolving the matter amicably. 
  • Consultation: Seek guidance from qualified patent professionals with experience in intellectual property litigation. They can assess the strength of your case, explore legal options, and develop a strategic enforcement plan tailored to your specific circumstances. 

II) Legal Recourses and Litigation

If informal negotiations fail to resolve the infringement dispute, you may pursue legal recourses and litigation: 

  • Patent Infringement Lawsuit: File a patent infringement lawsuit against the alleged infringer in federal court, seeking injunctive relief to halt the infringement and monetary damages for lost profits or reasonable royalties. 
  • Preliminary Injunction: Seek a preliminary injunction to halt the infringing activities pending the outcome of the lawsuit. This preserves the status quo and prevents further harm to your intellectual property rights during the legal proceedings. 
  • Discovery Process: Engage in the discovery process, which involves gathering evidence, conducting depositions, and exchanging information with the opposing party. This phase is critical for building your case and preparing for trial. 

III) The Potential Costs and Outcomes of Enforcement

Enforcing your patent rights through litigation entails various costs, risks, and potential outcomes: 

  • Costs: Patent litigation can be expensive, with costs including attorney fees, court fees, expert witness fees, and other litigation expenses. It’s essential to budget accordingly and weigh the potential costs against the expected benefits of enforcement. 
  • Time Frame: Patent litigation can be lengthy, often spanning several months or even years from initiation to resolution. This can consume significant time and resources, so it’s essential to be prepared for the long haul. 
  • Outcomes: The outcome of patent enforcement litigation can vary, ranging from settlement agreements to jury verdicts, injunctions, and damages awards. Success in litigation depends on various factors, including the strength of your case, the quality of evidence presented, and the legal strategies employed. 

Handling Questions About Patent Validity

Addressing Concerns About Patent Validity  

Patent Granted: Now What? A Guide to Your Post-Patent Strategy

Post-grant, affirming the patent’s validity against challenges is a critical defense strategy. It ensures the patent’s strength and enforceability in the face of scrutiny and potential disputes. 

I) Upholding the Validity of Your Patent

To defend the validity of your patent, it’s crucial to demonstrate that it meets all legal requirements and withstands scrutiny:

  • Thorough Documentation: Maintain thorough documentation of the patent application process, including all relevant prior art searches, patent examiner communications, and supporting evidence of novelty and non-obviousness. 
  • Expert Analysis: Seek expert analysis and opinion from qualified patent attorneys or technical experts to assess the validity of your patent and identify potential vulnerabilities or challenges. 
  • Legal Representation: Engage the services of experienced patent attorneys to represent your interests and defend the validity of your patent in legal proceedings, if necessary. 

II) Patent Re-examination and Post-Grant Proceedings

In the event of challenges to your patent’s validity, you may face re-examination or post-grant proceedings: 

  • Patent Re-examination: If questions arise regarding the validity of your patent, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may conduct a re-examination process to review the patent’s claims and validity. This process allows third parties to challenge the patent’s validity based on prior art or other grounds. 
  • Post-Grant Proceedings: Post-grant proceedings, such as inter partes review (IPR) or post-grant review (PGR), provide additional mechanisms for challenging the validity of patents after they have been granted. These proceedings offer a streamlined and cost-effective alternative to traditional litigation for resolving validity disputes. 


In conclusion, navigating the intricacies of patent ownership involves a multifaceted approach, encompassing everything from patent maintenance and monitoring to licensing, selling, and enforcing patent rights.  

By staying informed, proactive, and strategic, inventors and businesses can maximize the value of their intellectual property assets, protect their innovations, and capitalize on opportunities for growth and success in the competitive marketplace. 

About TTC

At TT Consultants, we're a premier provider of custom intellectual property (IP), technology intelligence, business research, and innovation support. Our approach blends AI and Large Language Model (LLM) tools with human expertise, delivering unmatched solutions.

Our team includes skilled IP experts, tech consultants, former USPTO examiners, European patent attorneys, and more. We cater to Fortune 500 companies, innovators, law firms, universities, and financial institutions.


Choose TT Consultants for tailored, top-quality solutions that redefine intellectual property management.

Contact Us
Share Article

Request a Call Back!

Thank you for your interest in TT Consultants. Please fill out the form and we will contact you shortly



    Of Your Ideas

    Elevate Your Patent Knowledge
    Exclusive Insights Await in Our Newsletter

      Request a Call Back!

      Thank you for your interest in TT Consultants. Please fill out the form and we will contact you shortly