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Google Expands Patent “Service”

April 27, 2015

Have you followed Google’s patent application flow? Well, it continues to creep up. Have you explored Google’s free online patent search? Well, it does not get too many upgrades.

What is getting attention is a new service explained in the Googley manner in “Announcing the Patent Purchase Promotion.” According the write up, you can participate in an experiment that will send your intellectual property to Mother Google. I read:

today we’re announcing the Patent Purchase Promotion as an experiment to remove friction from the patent market. From May 8, 2015 through May 22, 2015, we’ll open a streamlined portal for patent holders to tell Google about patents they’re willing to sell at a price they set. As soon as the portal closes, we’ll review all the submissions, and let the submitters know whether we’re interested in buying their patents by June 26, 2015. If we contact you about purchasing your patent, we’ll work through some additional diligence with you and look to close a transaction in short order. We anticipate everyone we transact with getting paid by late August. By simplifying the process and having a concentrated submission window, we can focus our efforts into quickly evaluating patent assets and getting responses back to potential sellers quickly. Hopefully this will translate into better experiences for sellers, and remove the complications of working with entities such as patent trolls.

I flagged this as a quote to note:

We’re always looking at ways that can help improve the patent landscape and make the patent system work better for everyone. We ask everyone to remember that this program is an experiment (think of it like a 20 percent project for Google’s patent lawyers), but we hope that it proves useful and delivers great results to participants.

With a Xoogler in the PTO and trolls on the defensive, I am confident there may be some deeper, economic thinking behind this “experiment.” I love the Google. I am confident that it will add more patent documents to its patent service. I am confident that Google will continue to be Google even as it faces some financial challenges.

Stephen E Arnold, April 27, 2015

LexisNexis: Riding the Patent Pony

April 25, 2015

Need patent information? Lots of folks believed that making sense of the public documents available from the USPTO were the road to riches. Before I kicked back to enjoy the sylvan life in rural Kentucky, I did some work on Fancy Dan patent systems. There was a brush with the IBM Intelligent Patent Miner system. For those who do not recall their search history, you can find a chunk of information in “Information Mining with the IBM Intelligent Miner Family.” Keep in mind that the write up is about 20 years old. (Please, notice that the LexisNexis system discussed below uses many of the same, time worn techniques.)


Patented dog coat.

Then there was the Manning & Napier “smart” patent analysis system with analyses’ output displayed in three-D visualizations. I bumped into Derwent (now Intellectual Property & Science) and other Thomson Corp. solutions as well. And, of course, there was may work for an unnamed, mostly clueless multi billion dollar outfit related to Google’s patent documents. I summarized the results of this analysis in my Google Version 2.0 monograph, portions of which were published by BearStearns before it met its thrilling end seven years ago. (Was my boss the fellow carrying a box out of the Midtown BearStearns’ building?)

Why the history?

Well, patents are expensive to litigate. For some companies, intellectual property is a revenue stream.

There is a knot in the headphone cable. Law firms are not the go go business they were 15 or 20 years ago. Law school grads are running gyms; some are Uber drivers. Like many modern post Reagan businesses, concentration is the name of the game. For the big firms with the big buck clients, money is no object.

The problem in the legal information business is that smaller shops, including the one and two person outfits operating in Dixie Highway type of real estate do not want to pay for the $200 and up per search commercial online services charge. Even when I was working for some high rollers, the notion of a five or six figure online charge elicited what I would diplomatically describe as gentle push back.

I read “LexisNexis TotalPatent Keeps Patent Research out of the Black Box with Improved Version of Semantic Search.” For those out of touch with online history, I worked for a company in the 1980s which provided commercial databases to LexisNexis. I knew one of the founders (Don Wilson). I even had reasonably functional working relationships with Dan Prickett and people named “Jim” and “Sharon.” In one bizarre incident, a big wheel from LexisNexis wanted to meet with me in the Cherry Hill Mall’s parking lot across from the old Bell Labs’ facility where I was a consultant at the time. Err, no thanks. I was okay with the wonky environs of Bell Labs. I was not okay with the lash up of a Dutch and British company.


Snippet of code from a Ramanathan Guha invention. Guha used to be at IBM Almaden and he is a bright fellow. See US7593939 B2.

What does LexisNexis TotalPatent deliver for a fee? According to the write up:

TotalPatent, a web-based patent research, retrieval and analysis solution powered by the world’s biggest assortment of searchable full-text and bibliographic patent authorities, allows researchers to enter as much as 32,000 characters (comparable to more than 10 pages of text)—much over along a whole patent abstract—into its search industry. The newly enhanced semantic brains, pioneered by LexisNexis during 2009 and continually improved upon utilizing contextual information supplied by the useful patent data offered to the machine, current results in the form of a user-adjustable term cloud, where the weighting and positioning of terms may be managed for lots more precise results. And countless full-text patent documents, TotalPatent in addition utilizes systematic, technical also non-patent literature to go back the deepest, most comprehensive serp’s.

Read more

Patent Search Needs to Be Semantic

December 31, 2014

An article published on Innography called “Advanced Patent Search” brings to attention how default search software might miss important search results, especially if one is researching patents. It points pout that some parents are purposefully phrased to cause hide their meaning and relevance to escape under the radar.

Deeper into the article it transforms into a press release highlight Innography’s semantic patent search. It highlights how the software searches through descriptive task over product description, keywords, and patent abstracts. This is not anything too exciting, but this makes the software more innovative:

“Innography provides fast and comprehensive metadata analysis as another method to find related patents. For example, there are several “one-click” analyses from a selected patent – classification analysis, citation mining, invalidation, and infringement – with a user-selected similarity threshold to refine the analyses as desired. The most powerful and complete analyses utilize all three methods – keyword search, semantic search, and metadata analysis – to ensure finding the most relevant patents and intellectual property to analyze further.”

Innography’s patent search serves as an example for how search software needs to compete with comparable products. A simple search is not enough anymore, not in the world of big data. Users demand analytics, insights, infographics, easy of use, and accurate results.

Whitney Grace, December 31, 2014
Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

An Answer to the Legacy of Steve Jobs

November 28, 2014

The answer is, “Patent every possible thing in order to make the patent wall higher and thicker.”

The article sort of misses the point of my answer. Navigate to to “Steve Jobs Lives on at the Patent Office.” The write up sees the situation in this way:

Deceased inventors can win patents if the approval process draws out, or when attorneys seek “continuations”—essentially new versions of old patents. And the more lawyers and money an inventor has, the more likely his ghost will rattle on. The estate of Jerome Lemelson, the sometimes-controversial independent inventor who came up with the bar code reader, received 96 patents following his death in 1997 at age 74.

Okay, okay. Apple, not Steve Jobs, is milking the cow. Patents unfortunately do not correlate with here and now financial success. I know of one really good example: IBM.

Some folks are confusing legal procedures with making money for someone other than lawyers.

I want to avoid that error. Also, would not life be better if Apple offered a search system that sort of worked.

Stephen E Arnold, November 28, 2014

Patent Complaint filed by BrightEdge for Searchmetrics Infringement

March 20, 2014

The article titled It’s BrightEdge vs. Searchmetrics in SEO Patent Case on Search Engine Watch warns of containing some “dry legalese”, but when it comes to patent infringements that is difficult to avoid. This particular case involves a complaint filed by BrightEdge, which claims that Searchmetrics is illegally using BrightEdge technology. Dennis Goedegbebuure, head of SEO at Airbnb explains Searchmetrics point of view in the article,

“That system was built in 2009, where we built the strategy starting in 2008, far before the patents by BrightEdge were submitted. We would check the ‘share of voice’ of any eBay page ranking for a keyword, and compare our position with the competition on multiple factors, backlinks and on-page factors; after which, we would be able to estimate what would be needed to push those eBay pages upwards in the rankings.”

This may sound like Google spoofers of the SEO variety getting legally frisky. The article explains that most innovative companies take out patents either as a defensive move against “patent trolls” or simply to avoid having there more unique ideas stolen by competitors. Patent controversies are common, and the system is clearly imperfect between combative companies and patents occasionally being awarded to the wrong company.

Chelsea Kerwin, March 20, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Simplified Patent Search

February 24, 2014

Finally, there are easier ways to find out whether your great idea has already been patented by an earlier-rising birdie. GCN reveals two new tools in, “Patent Search Engines Aim to Open Innovations to the World.”

The Lens is an open search engine created specifically for hunting down patent information, created by Richard Jefferson of the Queensland University of Technology. The Lens crawls through about 100 million documents in 90 countries, and its creator hopes it will help level the innovation playing field. Interestingly, Jefferson traces his lineage directly to Thomas Jefferson, who started the U.S. patent system in the first place. Perhaps that is why Richard Jefferson seeks to rectify the “dire straits” he feels that system is now in: being gamed by companies “incredibly skilled in hiding the ball in intentionally opaque patents.” The article tells us:

“The Lens already hosts several tools for analysis and exploration of the patent literature, including graphical representations of search results to advanced bioinformatics tools. In 2014 developers will be working to create forms of the Lens that can allow all annotations, commentary and sharing to be behind firewalls for those who need it, without forsaking the open and inclusive cyberinfrastructure, the organization said on its website.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) itself seeks to address the need for streamlined patent search with its Global Patent Search Network. The article doesn’t say how many countries this engine reaches, but does mention that the PTO has worked with China’s government to make their patent documentation searchable; that cooperation is nothing to sneeze at. The article reveals:

“Users can search documents, including published documents and granted patents, recorded from 2008 to 2011. The records are available in in English machine translations, which PTO acknowledged could sometimes generate awkward wording, but ‘provided an excellent way to determine the gist of the information in a foreign patent.'”

So, next time you want to know whether your invention has already been invented, turn to these tailor-made search engines.

Cynthia Murrell, February 24, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

SYL Semantics Resurfaces with News of Patent Bill

January 2, 2014

The article Patent Removal Regretted, But Search Firm Pushes On from ComputerWorld explores the consequences of the Patents Amendment Bill on SYL Enterprise Search in New Zealand. SYL distinguishes itself from most Enterprise Search companies by basing its work not on hype but on “access to relevant information.”

The article states:

“SYL’s platform is based on a dictionary of 580,000 English words, with records of associations among them, such as what words are synonyms and how the concepts they indicate are related; for example that Wellington is in New Zealand. Specialist dictionaries can be added to deal with particular business areas with their own vocabularies. Surveys indicate as much as 25 percent of an executive’s time can be consumed by searching for information”

Syl’s engine works to reduce time-wasting metadata creation by automatically generating plenty of metadata by making associations with words in the document. The clause in the New Zealand bill that a computer program does not qualify as a patentable invention would not effect the patent that SYL already holds on its techniques, but that has not stopped SYL CEO Sean Wilson from voicing his dissent. He suggests that the time and investment put into any invention would be wasted if it were impossible to patent and protect against imitation.

Chelsea Kerwin, January 02, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Google Patents: A Quote to Note

November 30, 2013

I read “Google’s Growing Patent Stockpile.” There is nothing like a search of commercial databases for patent information. The write up points out that Google is filing more patents. Only outfits like IBM and Microsoft are doing more filing and inventing, or is it inventing and filing?

Tucked into the article was this paragraph which is a quote to note in my opinion:

Gregory Aharonian, a technical analyst who works with lawyers to overturn patents, says that Google, like other big companies, knows that if it swamps the overworked patent office with applications, it will win patents, even if its ideas aren’t necessarily that novel. “The general rule is, the more patents a company has, the more closely the quality of their patent portfolio approaches the quality of all patents, which is to say the majority of all of these patents are invalid,” says Aharonian.

Good point. Google patents are useful for many reasons. One function for me is to gauge how quickly Google is becoming more like IBM and Microsoft. Is that a good thing? Just look at search. Google’s search innovations are redefining relevance and bringing a new connotation to precision and recall.

Progress is evident.

Stephen E Arnold, November 30, 2013

California Inventors Patent Application for Natural Language Search Interface Now Available Online

September 27, 2013

The article titled “Multimodal Natural Language Interface for Faceted Search” In Patent Application Approval Process on Hispanic Business reveals that inventors in California have applied for a patent of their natural language interface. The inventors are quoted in the article as claiming that the problem of users implementing a “successful query” revolves around an issue of transparency in the criteria of the search being held. The inventors, Farzad Ehsani, Silke Maren Witt-Ehsani filed their patent application in February of 2013 and the patent was made available online early in September of 2013. The article states,

“Solving this problem requires an interface that is natural for the user while producing validly formatted search queries that are sensitive to the structure of the data, and that gives the user an easy and natural method for identifying and modifying search criteria. Ideally, such a system should select an appropriate search engine and tailor its queries based upon the indexing system used by the search engine. Possessing this ability would allow more efficient, accurate and seamless retrieval of appropriate information.”

This quote from the inventors continues on to address the current methods which do not meet the expectations of users in terms of selecting the best search engine and data repository as well as not formulating the search query in the appropriate manner.

Chelsea Kerwin, September 27, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

After Five US Patent Office Awards Search Patent To Simplexo

August 16, 2013

Is patenting search, a fundamental tool for users, the same as trying to trademark crust less peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? No, not if you just invent a new technology to improve the common feature. Techzone360 takes a look at the first search patent to be issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in five years in, “SearchYourCloud Awarded US Patent For Improve Search Engine Results.” Simplexo was given a patent for “Improved Search Engine-offers unprecedented search capabilities for users by leveraging Boolean and semantic search technologies to deliver enhanced search results.” Okay, so why is this important? Take apart the technical language and Simplexo offers a product that will search across clouds and its content, a better mobile design and security, improved Boolean search, and repetitive information reduction.

CTO of Simplexo Simon Bain had this to say:

“’The Improved Search Engine patent confirms SearchYourCloud as a leader in the search and application space and puts users in control of their data.  SearchYourCloud’s technology enhances users’ productivity and lets users find and secure their data in one, fast step. Unlike other search engines our applications can find emails with a ‘to’ and ‘from’ name, and subject or content body without the user having to type in too many different search boxes. It can also find content from more than one source effortlessly and de-duplicate the results.’”

The demands on search engines are getting bigger and it is about time the expectations are met. It has not been decided how Simplexo will package its software, but expect it to change the way we search.

Whitney Grace, August 16, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Beyond Search

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