In addition to deciding whether to conduct patentability searches and to file patent applications, including the filing of foreign patent applications corresponding to United States applications in foreign countries, the next most important duty of the committee is to decide whether or not to maintain the patents in force by the payment of required taxes and maintenance fees.
Instead of reviewing each patent as it comes due for payment of such fees, it is most efficient to review the entire patent portfolio once per year as explained on https://arizonawet.arizona.edu/users/key-steps-patent-idea-through-inventhelp.
Two important objectives are accomplished by this annual review. The first objective is to gain an appreciation of the total amount of money required to support the patent portfolio for the next year. This invariably results in a desire to reduce the total amount by weeding out patents of questionable worth, e.g., patents covering products whose useful lives are over.
The second objective is to establish a priority or ranking of importance of the patents from one to the other throughout the entire patent portfolio. When judgments are made on patents one at a time at different meetings, independent of other corporate patents, it frequently occurs that more important corporate patents are dropped while less important corporate patents are maintained.
As the patent attorney reviews the fees necessary to maintain the corporation’s patent portfolio for the next year, it doesn’t require much more effort to prepare a total projected patent budget for the entire next year. When the patent activity for the previous years is taken into account, an estimate of the annual patent budget can be made. Such budgets generally exclude litigation costs as was described in https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/gotconcept/the-next-big-thing-in-invention/ post. However, organizations which follow these procedures generally avoid litigation. The total patent budget should track the total effort made in the development of the corporation’s new products.