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IBA: Startup Launches as a Result of America Invents Act

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For most patent attorneys, the American Invents Act has created an opportunity to engage clients on a variety of legal matters. For one Indianapolis-based entrepreneur, James Burnes of Project Brilliant, it sparked an opportunity to launch a new software venture.

Among many changes, the AIA added a new method for marking in U.S. 35, Section 287(a). Virtual marking, the use of a web address in addition to “pat.” or “patent” (e.g. patent.companyurl.com). This new method offers significantly lower costs and efficiencies for companies to implement a marking strategy than the centuries old method of traditional marking. “The AIA’s treatment of product marking is one of the few changes made to patent law by the AIA that truly makes the business of patenting more efficient,” said John Daniluck, patent attorney and partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll.

Burnes recognized that the cost and resources necessary for a company to effectively design, build and maintain its own virtual marketing database and publishing platform would be a time consuming, expensive endeavor; perfect for a software-as-a-service business. His company, PatentStatus (www.patstatus.com), is the first virtual patent marking software solution to enable corporate counsel to quickly build and launch a virtual marking database on their website without resources from IT, marketing or web staff.

“We worked with a variety of intellectual property attorneys to determine what functionality made sense,” said Burnes. “PatentStatus enables corporate counsel to create, build and maintain a registry on their company’s website without requiring lots of resources from their company’s IT department. It’s literally as easy to use as email.” According to Burnes, the only task a client’s IT staff has takes five minutes to update the company’s domain name servers to point their unique virtual marking URL (e.g. pat.companyurl.com) to PatentStatus’ secure servers.

Marking = revenue

Proper patent marking provides constructive notice to infringers and maximizes potential infringement damages for patent owners. “Virtual marking allows a patent owner to use technology to greatly reduce the cost of marking and at the same time increase the certainty of marking all the right products,” said Daniluck. That can mean additional revenue in successful infringement litigation.

Virtual marking offers the fastest and most cost effective method to providing constructive notice to their competitors while also mitigating the risk of improper marking that can occur due to employee error or negligence. Prior to virtual marking, traditional marking was time consuming and expensive and prone to employee error. “PatentStatus software allows our clients to use a single marking across every product, part and article they make and then publish the related patent information on their web site to provide constructive notice,” said Burnes. “As patent claims or associated patents change in the future, our clients can simply update their database and immediately make live changes.”

Understanding utilization creates opportunity

“Companies need to understand which patents in its portfolio they are using,” said Rick Rezek, patent attorney and partner at Barnes & Thornburg. “Having a complete, up-to-date database that links products and parts with the related patents is the first step in maximizing the use of the patent portfolio.”

The challenge for most companies implementing a virtual patent marking strategy will be getting that data together. Burnes says PatentStatus makes it easy to upload data in bulk or to add information individually as those patent-to-product or patent-to-part relationships are identified. “If you have a spreadsheet or existing patent management software, you can also bulk import your data into PatentStatus in seconds,” he said. What about publishing the wrong data? While not foolproof, PatentStatus includes a variety of fail-safes as well, to avoid publishing data that is inaccurate.

Build it or outsource it?

Burnes makes his case why outsourcing to a service like PatentStatus makes more sense than building it in-house. “You need software that is secure, scalable and has all the data tracking and historical logs to stand up in court, “said Burnes. “If our clients sue an infringer, we can be a trusted, independent third-party authority to the courts providing testimony on what was in our system and when,” he said.

This last point is key—and a big consideration when thinking about building a system in house Burnes said. “We’ve worked with multiple IP firms to identify how to create the strongest-legal-standing product that can be built. Our software not only holds the data securely, but has multiple methods of tracking, storing, archiving and logging the data.”

The other consideration is ongoing maintenance costs. As case law changes or USPTO guidelines emerge, corporations will have to update their systems with each new change. Those costs can add up over time versus a consistent budgeted expense using a third party service like PatentStatus.

“Case-law compliancy is our number-one focus. We’re taking on the burden of being a compliant platform for our clients,” said Burnes. “Because this is our specialty, we’re able to deliver a solution at a fraction of the annual costs to what companies can do on their own—and we can deliver it instantly while companies who in-source it may wait weeks or months for their IT departments to prioritize the project.”•

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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