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How long does a patent invalidation search take?

If you were to use a traditional approach, it could be quite a while. You need to work out the keywords for the search, and make sure that you don't miss any relevant keywords. You might also look up and apply a class code filter to the results, an additional step which could take additional time. 

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Many patent owners, whether universities, SMEs, research organisations or even big corporations, end up having a large patent portfolio that can cost them a significant sum to maintain over time. For example, to renew a US patent at the 11.5 year mark can cost up to US$7400, while Chinese and many European patents need to be renewed every year, with a total cost exceeding US$1000 per year  (including service charges) in some cases. 

In an ideal world the owners would value each patent before renewing them, which could provide them with the confidence to save money by abandoning low value patents.

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How much is a patent worth?

Some say that most patents are worthless, but conversely some patents are very valuable, and hard-nosed companies still invest heavily in new patents

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Most people when starting a patent search start by looking for patents with similar keywords, in either one of the free patent search engines (Google Patent, Espacenet, The Lens or others) or one of the subscription engines out there. And indeed this is a good approach and one that many users of Cluster Searching also use. 

Similarly, a lot of people combine this with class code searching. Class (or classification) codes can be useful means of conducting a preliminary filtering, or even a search in some cases.

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Yahoo is putting up a portfolio of 2659 of its patents up for sale, and is accepting bids at the moment. Price expectations have ranged up to five billion dollars.

2659 is a lot of patents by any measure, and this would ordinarily stretch the resources of any patent analyst. However here at Ambercite, we have developed some powerful tools such as Cluster Searching to help these analysts, and so we were curious to explore this portfolio ourselves. In particular, we were wondering: 

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