Roya Ghafele, Associate Fellow at the Novak Druce Centre and Director of Oxfirst Limited (, on intellectual property law and how it can help business in both the developed and developing worlds.

Views from Roya Ghafele, OXFIRST Ltd. on why business strategy is crucial to building a patent portfolio.

Historically, economic considerations associated with filing patents have been given insufficient consideration. Portfolios have been created without a thorough investigation of where markets are heading, how competition is performing and how the IP a firm generates relates to its business strategy. It comes thus at no surprise that significant portfolios sit gathering dust. According to recent survey data by the E.U.’s ‘PatVal’, 36% of European patents are not used for industrial or commercial purposes. In specific sectors, such as chemical- based and electronics- based industries the number of unused patents can be as high as 75-90%.[1] Data from Japan is not much more encouraging either, where apparently 50% of patents are not used. The world is not that gloomy, however. At the same time, as dormant patents are observed all over the world, a range of high visibility patent sales & IP-driven M&A transactions can be documented in the market as well.[2]