It was another busy year at IPWatchdog.com, and I want to thank all of our readers and guest contributors for making this year very special!
The first piece of business it to announce that we were notified earlier today that IPWatchdog.com was selected as the #1 IP blog by the Journal of the American Bar Association for 2013. That makes it 3 out of the last 4 years we were voted #1, and the 5th year in a row that the ABA Journal selected us to be in the Top 100 Blawgs. But as great a feeling as that is, perhaps the bigger news this year was that the ABA Journal selected IPWatchdog.com to be in the ABA Blawg Hall of Fame. This is an honor currently shared with only 19 other blog, including Dennis Crouch’s PatentlyO.
In terms of website traffic, during 2013 we had our best year ever, which seems to be something that I have been able to say year after year for the past several years. In 2012 our traffic increased by 31% compared to 2011 to an average of 82,632 monthly unique visitors. In 2013 our traffic increased to an average of 118,095 unique monthly visitors, representing 43% growth in 2013 compared with 2012. We also averaged nearly 139,000 unique monthly visitors during Q4 of 2013. During 2013, 69.0% of our traffic came from the United States, with 4.5% from the United Kingdom, 3.8% from India, 3.8% from Canada, 2.1% from Australia and 1.1% from Germany, which collectively represents 84.3% of our total traffic.
For those wondering about the dip in traffic during June and July 2013, there is an explanation. Our traffic was slightly depressed due to a hacking attack that temporarily resulted in Google removing certain pages from the free rankings. It took a while to plug the holes — longer than I expected it would or should — but after paying for some outside consultants to assist I finally figured out the problem that kept allowing access; a hole I plugged in mid-July. This brought our traffic back to its previous growth trajectory, dipping a little in December 2013, but still coming in at over 132,000 unique visitors. Mid-week holidays in the final two weeks of the year were not a help, but we expect great things in 2014.
The top 25 articles written in 2012 in terms of traffic are listed below. It is great to see that 5 out of the top 25 were authored by guest contributors, and Ray Millien had two articles placed in the top 25! The list does not include legacy articles (i.e., article published in years prior to 2013).
- The Benefits of a Provisional Patent Application
- Writing Software Patent Applications
- Patent Claim Drafting — The Basics
- Contracts 101: Covenants, Representations and Warranties in IP License Agreements (by Ray Millien)
- Patent Attorney Asks “Are You Drunk?”
- Everything You Need to Know about the Patent Bar Exam
- A Brave New Patent World: First to File Becomes Law
- China’s Giant Leap Forward in Patents (by Chris Neumeyer)
- Drafting Patent Applications: Writing Method Claims
- Federal Circuit Nightmare in CLS Bank v. Alice
- The Good, Bad and Ugly about Provisional Patent Applications
- Consternation Over Inability to Cut and Paste
- Beware Infringing Beer Dispensing Patent
- Frito-Lay Loses SCOOPS!® Patent, Trademark Infringement Case (by Jason Williams)
- Dr. Oz Fights Fraudulent Claims of Endorsement
- Did the PTAB Just Kill Software Patents
- Robin Thicke Sues Marvin Gaye Because He’s Infringing
- Landscape 2013: Who are the Players in the IP Marketplace? (by Ray Millien)
- Design Patent Lawsuit Takes the Fashion World by Storm (by Anthony Trippe)
- A Guide to Patenting Software: Getting Started
- Beware Patent Bar Study Advice
- Mark Cuban is an Idiot! Patents Do Not Impede Innovation
- Tiffany Sues Costco Over Counterfeit Diamond Rings
- Strong Design Patents: The Power of the Broken Line (by Mark Nowotarski)
- The Rise of Patent Litigation in America: 1980 – 2012
We also did some excellent interviews in 2013, including: Judge Richard Linn (of the Federal Circuit), the David Kappos Exit Interview, PTAB Chief Judge James Smith and Vice Chief JamesRay Niro (the man they call the patent troll), Manny Schecter (IBM’s chief patent counsel) and others.
I would also encourage those who haven’t taken a look at the Companies We Follow series, which is primary written by Steven Bachmann, to give it a read. Also, while it was published too late in the year to compete with the top 25, I have a hunch that my c0-authored article with Steven titled Top 10 Iconic (and Patented) Toys article will drive traffic for years to come. It was a fun article and I’m very proud of how it turned out.
I also encourage readers to take a look at Joe Allen’s guest articles, which certain have been driving a lot of discussion in the University community about university patenting and Bayh-Dole.
While it is great to be widely read, an unfortunate reality is that some of the my favorite articles, or the ones I think are the best, don’t get read as much as I would like. Whenever I write about basic issues the articles are read by attorneys and inventors alike, and popular news items that deal with Dr. Oz or Robin Thicke or Tiffany v. Costco or even Mark Cuban tend to be more widely read. Although, my list of favorite/best articles for 2013 does include my Mark Cuban article, and I did briefly get into a Twitter war with Mark Cuban or someone purporting to be Mark Cuban, which was cool. In any event, if I had to create a list of articles I’d like to be remembered for in 2013 (in addition to the Cuban and Top 10 Toys articles) they are (in no particular order):
- Patent Erosion 2013: What Would the Founding Fathers Think?
- America Needs a National Manufacturing Strategy
- Fixing the Patent System to Improve Innovation (Mystery Science Theater 3000 style)
- Is Google the “Snow White” of the Patent System?
- Defending Chief Judge Rader: Judges Can Make Patent Trolls Pay
- Patent Eligibility in Unsettled Times
- The Hidden Agenda Behind Patent Reform
- What is the future of Blackberry?
- FTC to Examine Patent Assertion Entities (Mystery Science Theater 3000 style)
- Bayh-Dole A Success Beyond Wildest Dreams
- Patent Turmoil: Navigating the Software Patent Quagmire
- Are Robots Patent Eligible?
- Did the Federal Circuit Ignore the Supreme Court in CLS Bank?
- Is Watson Still Patent Eligible?
- Intellectual Dishonesty About Bayh-Dole Consequences
- Chief Judge Rader Speaks Out About Patent Litigation Abuse
- House Passes Innovation Act, Battle Goes to Senate
- GAO Report Unmasks the Mythical Patent Troll Problem
- Why SCOTUS Myriad Ruling Overrules Chakrabarty
- Patent Reform: Will Fee-Shifting Solve the Patent Troll Problem?
- Soverainv. Newegg: Not an Ordinary Obviousness Dispute
- Software Patents: Are they really “Soft”—ware?
- Fighting Patent Trolls is the REAL Solution
- Is Patent Litigation Really a Problem for Big Tech?
- Patent Haters Take Notice! University Innovation Fuels Robust Economic Activity
Moving forward into 2014 we plan to continue to seek out and accept guest contributions from thought leaders on a variety of topics. Our news features and op-ed articles, a mainstay for years, will continue to make up a big part of what we publish, as will our interviews.
Looking back, 2012 was a great year for IPWatchdog.com, but personally it was the worst year of my life. I lost my mother to lung cancer in the early morning hours of May 17, 2012. Once again in 2013, our family dealt with the tragic reality of how fragile life really is. At precisely 10:00 pm on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, Renee’s father and my father-in-law, Richard Compasso, passed. See In Loving Memory: Richard Compasso, 1931-2013. He went into the hospital for surgery on his neck a week earlier, needing to relieve discs and bone spurs that were pressing on his spine. After that surgery he was doing fine, was up and walking, and was to be discharged from the hospital on Thursday, July 25, 2013. Unfortunately, at approximately 3:03 am on Thursday, July 25, 2013, during a routine bed check by hospital staff, he was found not breathing. He was resuscitated, slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness.
Renee and I would like to express our gratitude to our readers and contributors, both for the many wonderful and kind comments regarding her father’s passing and for being such a wonderful and loyal community. This is our business, but you all make it worthwhile and fun.
Happy 2014 to everyone!