The importance of IP portfolio optimisation

13 Abril 2022

Bringing a new medical breakthrough technology to market can be a lengthy and costly process. The length of time will depend on the technology’s stage of development, the market for the technology, competing solutions, the amount of work needed to bring a new concept to market-ready status, and the resources and willingness of the licensees and/or the inventors.


It is therefore easy for invention disclosures to pile up in a technology transfer office. Knowing that only a small percentage of all the technologies being developed will be successful, choosing which inventions to shelve and which to move through the pipeline is perhaps one of the most critical tasks of knowledge transfer professionals.


There is no crystal ball to tell which innovations are poised for commercialisation success, therefore having a systematic screening for early-stage technology assessments is crucial. Quicker and improved Go-No-Go decisions enable knowledge transfer professionals to effectively invest time and resources in only those technologies with the highest potential for commercialisation and ultimately increase commercialisation success rates.

So what questions are important to answer?

– What are the key features, benefits, and applications of the technology?
– What problem(s) does it solve?

– What is the current stage of development and what additional amount of time, money, and expertise is required for further development?


Challenges associated with early-stage technologies include issues related to lack of data, scale-up, uncertainty with respect to both how the technology will be deployed as well as the market conditions into which the technology will be deployed, etc.

 – Has the invention ever been publicly disclosed?
– What makes the results “surprising and unexpected” over what is already known?


To assess patentability, a prior art search must be conducted to see if there are similar technologies in the literature.

 – How does the invention translate into a product or service?
 – Does it address an unmet market need? Are there competing technologies already available?
 – What is the expected time to market?
 – What is the size and growth potential of the market and who are the customers?


Science alone does not create a market. Likewise, just because a technology can be patented does not mean there is a market need for innovation.

This first assessment tells us if the technology is ‘narrow’ or ‘broad’ for patentability, ‘high’ or ‘low’ for marketability, and ‘early’ or ‘late’ for the maturity stage. The inventors/researchers should always be informed about the findings of the screening process. Not only will tech transfer managers need their buy-in and involvement in the next steps if activities for commercialisation are pursued, but the feedback on their technology (even if it’s shelved/abandoned) will inform their ongoing research and foster positive relationships.


This process is also supported by “pitching” the technology to the B.ACIS team and/or our International Advisory Board.


If you are a researcher, now you know how B.ACIS manages the IP portfolio of the School of Medicine/ICVS, and how relevant your contribution is for us to support you at every stage.

#healthinnovation #medtech #ipportfolio