A patent portfolio is a collection of patents owned by a single entity, such as an individual or corporation. The patents may be related or unrelated. Patent applications may also be regarded as included in a patent portfolio.
The monetary benefits of a patent portfolio include a market monopoly position for the portfolio holder and revenue from licensing the intellectual property. Non-monetary benefits include strategic advantages like first-mover advantages and defense against rival portfolio holders. Constituting a patent portfolio may also be used to encourage investment.
Because patents have a fixed lifespan (term of patent), elements of a portfolio of patents constantly expire and enter the public domain.