How to save millions spent on patent portfolio management?

 

“Competition is always a good thing….. A monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity”.  – Nancy Pearcey

True indeed. Consider the present day scenario – it is only the competition which has driven the technology to a new horizon. It was the ‘competition’ that drove most companies to patent their technology in order to gain a strategic advantage over the competitors. But, with the time as the patent portfolio of these companies grew organically (through inhouse R&D) or even in-organically (through M&A), it became difficult for them to manage it.

As more and more patents are being filed by these companies, their patent portfolios are becoming an intricate web of relationships. Now, managing such a behemothic amount data is a pain in the neck as it can take a heavy toll on your IP budget. This is because you will have to empoy time, resources and a lot of money for its management. Moreover some companies also use outside consultancies which can raise some privacy issues. The matter of concern here is that most companies in the IP industry are facing this problem and they still don’t have efficient solution on – how to manage the data when they hop on a data bandwagon?

Most companies in such a situation tend to use spreadsheets and other outdated tools to manage, store and visualize the data. Such tools are useful in storing the data but managing, visualizing and making a log of activities is still a far reaching task. Not just this, the biggest drawback of such tools is that you’ll have to ruffle through array of pages to access even simple information.

Now as we are so habitual of using spreadsheets, we don’t even think of some other tool which can help us here. But, why don’t we have any good tool to solve this problem? An interface where we can tag the patent/product with their respective technology areas and review, manage changes in real time.

The answer to this is that there aren’t many tools in the IP industry that offer a platform to segment, categorize, analyse your patent portfolio along with an interactive interface to monitor, share the progress of the team working on it. It’s for this reason we came up with Slate.

How does Slate weigh in here?

Slate provides a common workspace for collaboration where we can tag the patent/assets to specific technology categories they fall under. This makes all the incoming information catalogued inside the slate and thus making it searchable. It provides us with an intuitive system to reach to say ‘10 or so’ most relevant patents without having to skim through 100s of related documents.

But, How? Let’s understand this with the help of an example;

If you want to check a patent in your portfolio that is related to a technology category/tag say – Breeding  and further to a subcategory – Plant Breeding but not – Genetically Modified Organisms. When you have to look for such a patent in spreadsheets, you will have to get an eyeful of chunk of corresponding patents. However, this is not the case with Slate – here you can use include or exclude filters and with in a few clicks can funnel down to the few most relevant patents i.e.

In include filter you can search for Breeding, Plant Breeding. This will provide you with the patents that have been tagged under the searched technology categories but some of them might also have a sub category Genetically modified Organisms. In order to exclude the patents tagged under Genetically Modified Organisms, you can use exclude filter in the Slate and penetrate to the most relevant patents of your interest.  You can drill as deep as you want depending upon the depth of tagging you are searching with.

Once tagged, Slate offers a hand curated, structured patent set and provides a common podium to unify different IP teams, personals managing the project (like IP Counsels, CEOs, CTOs or for the matter of fact CXOs) to share ideas and solve problems in lesser time. Slate gives the team an access to the collective knowledge of company’s patent portfolio by making a log of all the activities by different team members working on it.

What unique does Slate add to your kitty? You ask. Let me jot down few of its perquisites here:-

  • It reduces cost by eliminating the need to accommodate outside team for portfolio management. It puts the pedal to the metal and makes the inputted information structured and searchable.
  • It offers an astute mechanism and system to reach to the most relevant say ’10 or so’ patents without having to skim through 100s of patent documents.
  • It is integrated with dynamic dashboards for graphical representations of patent data in order to derive various insights.
  • Individual emails arriving in your inbox requires a lot of attention and are a little clumsy to manage and follow upon. It structures conversations and comments within chat-threads making it easier for the personnel working on the project to follow up and stay updated of the progress made.
  • It provides a customizable collaborative interface to bridge the gap between various teams say for an instance R&D and legal team by providing them a common podium or workplace.

Moreover, it also offers real time updates from US PAIR on competitor patent applications , File history analysis, family tree visualizations (in case you want to keep a watch on competitor’s strategy). Moving down the the road let’s discuss some key elements of Slate that can add value to your business.

  1. TAGGING

  • Review Interface

A user can tag your assets to specific technology categories they fall under. A user-friendly interface with desired filters/controls to zoom in to assets associated with any specific tags.

The interface will provide you with the ability to see all tags associated to an asset, see specific sections from the claims of the asset responsible for these tags, add/delete/modify tags to these assets by highlighting specific sections of claims, description, figures, etc. The specific features of the Tagging Review Interface are listed below as sub-features.

 

  • Modifications

This feature will provide the ability to attorney for correction/edits to the categories assigned and/or the ability for the attorneys to comment on the assigned categories.

  • Approval

This feature will provide the ability to create notification for the change in the categories assigned to a particular set of claims between reviewing user (master admin.) and the team working on the project.

  1. CLAIM LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION

Specific comment boxes will be provided to help users make notes (like broad and a narrow interpretations) to be shared with the team working on the project.

  1. SUPPORT FROM PATENT DOC.

For each interpretation of the claim provided by the user, he/she can highlight/input a specific section from patent disclosure (including figures). Only individual pages containing relevant text can also be included instead of the whole text from the patent document.

  1. SUPPORT FROM FILE HISTORY

For each interpretation of the claim provided by the user, a specific section will be provided to highlight/input specific support from file history.

  1. ACTIVITY LOG

All actions taken by the user(s) during the review process will be logged. Any response to these actions by the team working on the project will be logged in this log box, and will be visible for attorneys to keep a track of the changes/reviews being done.

 

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