In certain circumstances buying patents is a good option, especially when patents are needed fast. Building a patent protfolio based on own R&D takes several years while prosecution and technology evolution may bring surprises causing resulting patents of low or no value. Acquiring a carefully selected patent portfolio can be exploited immediatelly and it may even end up being a cheaper option.
Buying and selling is easy - just like in any trade of movables. All you need is a seller, a buyer, a portfolio and to agree on the transaction price, draft a trade agreement and you are done.
Finding a match between the patents and the needs of the buyer is the tricky part. It is safe to say that many patents have no value at all. Even if granted, they may have issues with priority or quality and the scope of protection is something that no one infringes or even wants to infringe. But then some patents are worth millions and millions when in right hands.
Finding, evaluating and proving the value of patents is hard work and no-one is willing to pay for a patent if they cannot see value in it. In order to find and convince a buyer you need to analyze the patent in detail, examine the prosecution history and really understand the scope of protection. Only then you can start to evaluate the value by searching for evidence of use and draft solid claim charts against relevant products or services. Especially in the ICT business no one buys patents with out claim charts or Evidence of Use (EoU) documents!
Naturally, it is not always possible to find the evidence of use, but when you do, you may have a splendid opportunity to monetize your patents.
Some of the available portfolios are available on: http://www.berggrenbrokerage.com/portfolios.html
Currently there is a demand for patents e.g. in these technologies: telecommunication standards (4G, 5G), semiconductors, sensors, cameras, integrated circuits, displays, lighting.
Berggren Brokerage -web page has been public now for over a year and the service has received a lot of attention around the world by IP sellers and buyers. The writer, Tuomas Matila and his colleagues Mika Lehtinen and Mika Pinolehto are senior level IP professionals and among other tasks they have drafted several hundreds of claim charts during their career at Berggren and in industry side. They have helped their customers to sell patents to companies around the world.