A very good summary of innovative companies and the categories they fall under: the tyros (young startups), the Nobel laureates (e.g. Intel), the cyborgs (e.g. Apple), the artistes (e.g. Ideo), and the born again (e.g. Procter&Gamble).
Thoughts on the world around Dolcera
A very accessible article on epigenetics and how genes don’t really contain the code of life after all. Beautifully written but lo…ong.
Slowly and steadily, the USPTO is making its way into the 21st century. It’s letting Google crawl the PAIR and is making all the file wrappers and other information available online. It has only 100,000 pages crawled so far though, so ways to go still.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) became a household word at the beginning of this decade when Wal-Mart announced it was planning to tag every item on its shelves with these chips that can communicate their unique identity (or be ‘read’) to ‘readers’ from a distance. What followed was a frenzy of investments, hype, and innovation in this field.
While RFID tags have been use in many different industries before and since, Wal-Mart’s announcement was a game-changer. From a few million devices a year, the volumes were predicted to grow into several billions of devices, if the technology was deployed widely. This would also mean that the costs of these tags would come down dramatically.
Wal-Mart started its trials and discovered several significant issues, including problems with reading tags off of items that were metallic or had liquid in them. They then started tracking items at the pallet level and not at the individual item level.
This took the wind out of the RFID sails for a while.
But it seems RFID is back! Wal-Mart has decided to tag some/all of its men’s apparel/fashion with EPCGlobal Gen 2 tags. JC Penney is also making a push in the apparel category. The demand for the tags, therefore, has shot up and is now predicted to be in the 1-2 billion tags per year range.
Back when the frenzy first started, the major tag manufacturers were companies with names like Matrics and Alien. Matrics was acquired by Symbol, I think, which, in turn, was acquired by Motorola. Alien is still around, taking in more investment every few years. But the top tag manufacturers are Avery Dennison and UPM Raflatac. While Alien makes its own ICs, UPM and Avery use ICs from companies like NXP. It seems NXP is the biggest IC supplier for this space.
The tag prices have come down to about 7-9 cents, and the fully finished tag label price is in the 13-14 cents range. A gentleman from UPM told me that we are about ‘10 billion tags away’ from a nickel (5 cent) tag. From one single tag design back in the day, today there are dozens of designs for the antennas, inlays (combinations of chips and antennas), and labels designed for a variety of different applications.
The demand has shot up so fast that the label manufacturers are backed up 6 months and can’t manufacture the tags fast enough. Optimism is running high, again.
For the last week or so, Indian newspapers have been reporting staggering numbers for the 3G spectrum auction in India. But the numbers keep increasing seemingly randomly and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. The government hopes to raise Rs. 35,000-45,000 crores (approximately $7-10B) through this exercise.I couldn’t find any news reports that explained the structure of this auction, so I googled a bit, and came across this document that generally explains how these auctions are designed and run. Here’s what seems to be going on:
- The problem: There isn’t one resource (one painting or one chunk of spectrum) that is being auctioned. What we have, instead, are separate chunks of spectrum which can be bid for together or separately. For example, a carrier can bid for a few ‘circles’ (the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, etc., say), or for a nationwide license.
- The solution: The auction is conducted in several rounds. The first round starts at a ‘reserve price’ for each chunk of spectrum determined by the auction organizer (the government, in this case). Different bidders can bid incrementally higher amounts in each round (between 1-10% more than in the previous round, as determined by the auction organizers). If the prices are changing, the auction continues. This gives different companies to change their strategies and bid for groups of spectrum in different rounds. The auction ends when there are no more bids and price changes.
- The advantage of this method: This creates a more transparent environment for the bidders, but also allows different bidders to tweak and implement different strategies for collection of “circles,” which would not have been possible if each of the circles were bid for separately in one shot.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had sued Myriad for licensing a couple of gene sequences related to breast cancer — BRCA1 and BRCA2. The judge came back today and ruled that human gene sequences in and of themselves are not patentable subject matter, and thus the patents are invalid. This case will now make its way to the CAFC (the US Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit), and then on to the Supreme Court.This could be a landmark change. Diamond v. Chakrabarty started the gene patent story, and the Myriad ruling could be a major chapter in it. The smart money is not on ACLU’s side yet, but things could change in the next year or two.With the Bilski decision due any day (could come as soon as the day after tomorrow), we are in for some interesting times in the patenting world.
Three types of patent applications have been available to IP professionals over the years:
- Patent search engines: In this category, we have the Thomson tools (Micropatent, Delphion, Thomson Innovation), Questel, Lexis-Nexis, Google Patents, and the patent office’s own search tools (USPTO’s search engine, eSpaceNet, etc.).
- Patent analytics tools: In this category, we have the desktop tools (VantagePoint, for example), and the online tools such as Aureka, Innography, and PatentInsight Pro.
- Intellectual asset management systems: In this category, we have FoundationIP, IPMaster, Anaqua, and many others.
Patent professionals and other patent-aware professionals (inventors, scientists, business development/licensing managers) need tools for the following tasks:
- Search: Conducting patent searches on patent databases around the world.
- Categorization: Organize patent data (one’s own patents or competitors’ patents or those of a potential acquisition) into categories and groups that can be used for easy access to patent information.
- Analysis: Analyzing large quantities of patent information to understand trends and to make business decisions.
- Sharing/Presentation: Share “raw” patent data and the analysis with large teams of people.
- Collaboration: Obtaining feedback from other stakeholders in the organization, or from partners and collaborators (outside counsel, for example) on the patent data.
- Docketing: Tracking one’s own portfolio through the prosecution process and beyond.
The existing products do a good job of search, analysis, and docketing processes. While categorization, sharing/presentation, and collaboration are equally important aspects of the patent world, they are underserved by the tools described above.
Enter the Dolcera dashboard. The dashboard focuses on the three tasks: patent categorization, patent sharing/presentation, and collaboration. With the dashboard, these three tasks are a breeze: you can take your patent sets and categories, organize patents into the categories, share the results with an interactive presentation platform, and collaborate with your colleagues easily.
The dashboard is the Facebook of patents, and not the Google search engine.
Dolcera also provides high quality patent search and analysis services as well, using some of the excellent search tools described above, as well as using some of our internal proprietary technologies.
The year 1996-2000 were fantastic for all things mobile. Almost. The Palm Pilot sold like hot cakes, the Wireless Access Protocol was going to make all of the Web available on the phone and there were all sorts of new browsers being put on the phone. There were operating systems being built for the phones too. Ebooks and ebook readers were beginning to emerge too. And there we were @ iScribe — putting prescription writing on mobile devices too and changing the way doctors worked… forever.
Most of the promises were unfulfilled at the time and we had to wait for 10 years before the mobile devices, browsers and ebook readers became usable. All that is happening now.
All, that is, except for e-prescribing on mobile devices. My beloved iScribe is dead and not coming back. And doctors aren’t using their phones except to select the restaurant they’ll go to for dinner… and to make the occasional phone call. Will the new healthcare bill force doctors to use technology and reduce waste?Is the practice of medicine ever going to come to the 21st century, I wonder.
Here is the explanation:
For this option “Reduce to One Member per Family” we use the default order US-WO-EP-JP-GB-DE-FR for selecting the representative document, the Worksheet retains only one family member and deletes the other patents from the list. This feature gives you the basis for analysis of patents by family, eliminating the distortion that results from counting the same invention in each country. This is how we determine what document to keep. In each family, documents are sorted by country code, in order of preference: US WO EP JP GB DE FR. The first group of patents or authority (let’s say there are multiple US documents) is then sorted by date (oldest first) and then we choose the first record or oldest record.
The Dolcera Sequence Dashboard video demo is available on YouTube now. Here is the link.