In December of 2012 Article One Partners announced that they would be launching an educational contest series geared towards military veterans with an interest in research, science and technology. The program, known as the Article One Partners Veterans Program or AOP-Vets for short will consist of three main pillars; an educational curriculum on patent research, a series of career guidance sessions from intellectual property executives, and an “exciting Grand Challenge” with the opportunity to win rewards for success on the research platform. In fact, at the end of the program, which is set to begin on April 8, 2013 and will run through May 17, of 2013, the best-performing participant of the program will receive a $5,000 reward.
Given that I come from a family of military men, and came so close to signing up for the military myself, I hold the topic of veterans near and dear to my heart. In fact when I heard about this program I was thrilled because I know that many veterans have been affected by this recession are out of work themselves. I know a few veterans in particular who could benefit from a program such as this and feel that programs like this are the very least we should give veterans in return for the sacrifices they and their families make for our country. But the best part about this program is that it affords veterans who wish to participate the opportunity to become trained in the area of intellectual property that should ultimately lead to additional career opportunities that otherwise they would not have qualified for.
In any event, and for all to see my diminished powers of prediction, AOP, the world’s largest patent research community, has passed another significant milestone. This time the company has passed the $3 million threshold in financial rewards paid to its global research community. Actually, the milestone was reached at the end of August 2012, but AOP only officially made the announcement last week. In fact, as of the writing of this article the reward calculator found prominently on the AOP homepage shows that some $3,371,500 in reward money has been paid to its community of crowdsourcing researchers.
The announcement that Article One has reached the $3 million milestone comes only six months after reaching the $2 million milestone, which took place at the beginning of February 2012. It took AOP 11 months to the day to reach the $2 million milestone, and since they opened for business in November 2008 it took approximately 27 months to pay out its first million in reward money. What this shows is that AOP is gaining steam, constantly shaving months off the time it takes to reach the next milestone award figure.
The recent decision by Judge Richard Posner in Apple v. Motorola (No. 1:11-cv-08540 )(N.D. IL., June 22, 2012) will likely be instructive for the parties in the Apple v. Samsung litigation in San Jose, California. See Apple, Samsung patent trial starts with jury selection. Judge Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (and a law professor at the University of Chicago) issued this ruling after deciding to take a stint as a trial judge so he could preside over this case. His Honor’s decision places a huge burden on patent owners to support the pedigree of their asserted patents.
J. Posner highlights that the complexity of private and public sector patent events limits an “objective” assessment of patent value by judges or juries. What J. Posner demands is clarity derived from objective evidence. Parties must identify objective comprehensive damages evidence and provide a clear syllogism to arrive at a damages position. Where attained, he also suggests that the sophistication of worldwide brands as litigants can enable negotiated resolution.
The mobile app economy is estimated to have created nearly 466,000 jobs in the United States alone as of the beginning of 2012, up from zero jobs in 2007. See New ‘App Economy’ Creates Nearly 500,000 Jobs. Further, mobile app downloads are expected to hit 76.9 billion in 2014. This growing technology based industry, like so many other similar growing industries, is facing increased threat of patent infringement claims, which are hampering the process of bringing new mobile innovations to market.
In order to attempt to combat the use of dubious patents against mobile app developers, Article One Partners (AOP), the world’s largest patent research community, today announced the formation of a partnership with the Appsterdam Legal Foundation, a global trade organization for mobile software developers.
Typically I am not one to say that patent infringement lawsuits are responsible for stunning the growth of an industry, but with respect to mobile app developers there is something quite different than what we have witnessed in the past. Many mobile app developers are individuals or truly small businesses. When faced with threats of patent litigation or demands to pay licensing fees, many of these mobile app developers leave the market. Still more are simply not entering the marketplace out of fear.
New York – April 26, 2012 – Article One Partners (AOP), the world’s largest patent research community, today announced that Peter Vanderheyden, a seasoned IP industry veteran, has assumed the role of Chief Product Officer, where he is responsible for product strategy, technical staff and product development. Vanderheyden is also responsible for recruiting, training, rewarding and retaining AOP’s global research community.
Vanderheyden joins AOP from the legal software and solutions corporation LexisNexis, where he was Vice President and Managing Director, Global IP Solutions. While at LexisNexis, he helped to develop TotalPatent, a leading patent research tool supported by the world’s largest patent database, and PatentOptimizer, a software tool that conducts word-level analysis of the legal integrity of a patent or application. Prior to LexisNexis, Vanderheyden served as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for IP.com, a global patent and non-patent literature database, where he re-established the corporate brand, launched new products, and developed a patent for a new market opportunity. Vanderheyden held previous positions at IBM and founded Delphion, the first to make US patents searchable on the web.
Article One Partners (AOP), the world’s largest patent research community, earlier today announced the results from its second annual Napa summit. In a comprehensive survey designed to gauge the state of the global patent industry, 36 senior executives from more than 20 Intellectual Property (IP)-leading companies discussed issues facing the IP industry. The survey results, which were compiled anonymously, found that although patent threats are on the rise, collaborative solutions are key to both deterring and managing nuisance lawsuits.
“The IP industry reached a critical turning point last year,” said Cheryl Milone, founder and CEO of Article One Partners. “The AIA overhauled the U.S. patent system, and NPEs are growing both in volume and in sophistication. In this challenging environment, preventing and mitigating patent litigation threats is becoming a top priority for companies across industries. By facilitating a better understanding of the patent challenges faced by today’s companies, the senior thought leaders at the Napa summit are equipping decision makers to better handle today’s patent environment.”
Article One Partners(AOP), the world’s largest patent research community, earlier today announced that the company has achieved a significant milestone — more than $2 million dollars in financial incentives to its global research community. This milestone comes 11 months to the day from when Article One announced that they had reached the $1 million award milestone. The company has been in business since November 2008, which means the company took approximately 27 months to pay out its first million. There is no doubt that the brand of crowdsourcing for prior art patent research pioneered by AOP is gaining in popularity.
Back in November 2008 I was highly critical of the AOP model, writing that I just didn’t think it would work. At that time I wrote, in part: “While there is nothing wrong with paying to collect prior art references there is an extreme lack of incentive in the Article One business plan because the criteria for awarding the bounty are subjective and ambiguous. Furthermore, rather than paying a bounty the far better model is to hire competent researchers…” There will always be a place for hiring trained patent searchers, but the proof is in. I couldn’t have been more wrong about the AOP business model.
As you may have seen, IPWatchdog.com has been named to the ABA Blawg 100, which recognizes the top 100 blogs on the Internet written by lawyers for lawyers. This marks the third year in a row we have been honored by the American Bar Association Journal as a top 100 blog.
Now the voting begins. Last year we were voted the top IP Law blog and greatly appreciate the support we received. Once again this year we are in the same category — IP Law — as is Professor Dennis Crouch’s widely popular PatentlyO blog. If you are inclined to vote for us we would once again greatly appreciate your support.
Over the years IPWatchdog.com has continued to try and add additional perspectives from a wide variety of guest contributors, ranging from well respected practicing attorneys and agents to high profile academics to inventors and pro-patent lobbyists. It is hard to imagine providing such depth of analysis on such an array of topics without having truly wonderful guest authors. So we take this moment to say a very special thank you and to shine the spotlight on them. Each deserve to share in any recognition of IPWatchdog.com. While I am loathe to single any guests out I would be remiss if I didn’t separately thank both Beth Hutchens (10 contributions) and Eric Guttag (9 contributions)!
Without further ado, here are the guest contributors in alphabetical order, along with their contributions for 2011.
Prior art research is playing an increasingly important role for companies with potential exposure to IP litigation. Companies are spending millions of dollars in legal expenses to understand the true value of patents. In some cases, entire industries are threatened by growing litigation from non-practicing entities (NPEs). Look no further than the now infamous Lodsys lawsuit filed against the App Developer community, including Angry Birds developer Rovio, which is facing a much bigger threat than pesky evil pigs. It is essential that these companies perform the most complete prior art search to defend in this litigation.
Crowdsourcing for prior art has recently emerged to revolutionize the patent research space and overcome the limitations of traditional search techniques. Traditional searches generally involve Western-language based digitized searches. For foreign non-patent publications, only the abstracts are digitized for inclusion in Western-language based digitized databases. The research thus misses the full text and footnotes. It also is important to note that, for digitized publications, critical content is not digitized – such as tables, figures, graphs and photographs. In addition, whole classes of publications besides historical publications (e.g., out-of-print books) are not digitized. These include editorials, business materials, physical products, out-dated manuals on products, software, and standards meeting notes.
In November of 2008, Article One Partners announced the launch of what they characterized as a new global community to legitimize the validity of patents. Community members, called Advisors, would have the opportunity to send in previously hard to find evidence that challenges the validity of high profile patents. It was believed that by tapping the knowledge of Advisors it would be possible to collect valuable publicly available prior art, particularly non-patent literature. I was initially quite skeptical of the plan, but it is hard to argue with results. On Monday, March 7, 2011, Article One Partners announced that it had surpassed the $1 Million milestone and has now distributed over $1 million in reward money to Advisors.
Article One Partners announced yesterday that patents held by NTP Incorporated are the focus of three new requests for research, which Article One Partners refers to as Patent Studies. NTP was made famous for its litigation against BlackBerry maker Research-in-Motion (RIM) that resulted in a settlement north of $600 million. New litigation by NTP has expanded the assertion of patent infringement to other top players in the mobile and smartphone industry, which is prompting Article One Partners to engage their global community of researchers by challenging them to identify evidence predating the patents in question and which can be used to invalidate one or more of the patent claims owned by NTP.
“This is a great opportunity for the public to engage directly in patent review related litigation that influences the use of email on mobile devices,” said Cheryl Milone, CEO of Article One Partners. “We welcome individuals with an interest in the public review of these NTP patents to participate, and potentially be compensated for doing so.”
Cheryl Milone, the Founder and CEO of Article One Partners
As is probably apparent to frequent readers of IPWatchdog.com, I keep my ear to the ground and have a number of sources (i.e., friends and colleagues) in the legal community who play a number of different roles in the intellectual property, patent and innovation space. Because I love talking shop, particularly when it relates to policy matters, you can typically find me on the phone or having lunch or drinks with “my sources,” usually several times a week. I don’t go public with where I get information unless it is agreed upon, and these chats help keep me informed and let me work out my thoughts, opinions and get different perspectives on matters.
On February 4, 2010, I had a call with Cheryl Milone, Founder and CEO of Article One Partners. While we don’t chat as much as I would like, we do connect when our schedules permit. This call was coordinated by one of Cheryl’s assistants, so we called into a conference line. During our call a beep was heard and recording of our conversation was inadvertently started. We kept talking and then agreed that some of our conversation might be appropriate for publication. We were talking patent reform, reexamination, patent litigation, improved patent search and IT databases, claim construction and more. You know, talking shop and bouncing ideas off one another. Cheryl agreed that our conversation could be published, and I am just now getting the transcript together for publication.
NEW YORK, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ — Article One Partners, the world’s largest patent validation firm, today announced that Patrick W. Gross has joined its Board of Directors. Gross was an influential member of U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s staff, has been the chairman, vice chairman, founder, co-founder and trustee of a large number of public service organizations, and a board member and executive of more than 24 public and private companies.
Mr. Gross is the Chairman of the Lovell Group, a private investment and advisory firm, where he applies his extensive business expertise to a portfolio of growing technology and internet commerce companies. He has had an extraordinary business career, and currently sits on the boards of six publicly traded companies, including Capital One, Waste Management, Rosetta Stone, Career Education Corporation and Taleo Corporation.
How to Write a Patent Application is a must own for patent attorneys, patent agents and law students alike. A crucial hands-on resource that walks you through every aspect of preparing and filing a patent application, from working with an inventor to patent searches, preparing the patent application, drafting claims and more. The treatise is continuously updated to address relevant Federal Circuit and Supreme Court decision impacting patent drafting.
Typically blog roll links are not helpful to a website's rank. To give some additional "link love" to those we think you might be interested in reading we have moved our blog roll and links to a dedicated page. Go to IPWatchdog Blog Roll & Links.