This past Wednesday, Article One Partners hosted a webinar to introduce themselves to the European market. I attended the one back in July and it was awesome so I was really looking forward to this one too.
The best thing about their online info sessions is the interaction…you can type in a question or comment to the host and people? They actually read them. Out loud. To the whole audience. VERY COOL. Not always out loud, I mean, I’m sure they get far more questions than they can answer in the time allotted but the fact that they answer any of them (and in particular, because they answered mine!) makes you feel part of the party. And I do love me a party, particularly a patent-related one.
As is always the case when you sign up for these things, you hope to learn something that you didn’t know before. In my case, I learned five somethings, and here they are:
- AOP has about 25,000 registered researchers. That’s about 24,950 more than I imagine the average patent research company has. You’re getting your money’s worth here.
- Over half the researchers have an advanced degree of some kind (master’s or Ph. D., etc.) These are some seriously educated folks (she says, as she sheepishly looks at her BBA on the wall.)
- The impact of non-patent literature is significant. This one actually didn’t surprise me as much…if you look at the state of the patent system, why on earth would you look inside it? It’s a mess. It makes sense that out in the big, bad world itself is where you’re going to find prior art. I thought it was neat that one study found something interesting in I think it was a product manual? Do people actually read those things? Evidently, AOP people do.
- They use a tiered offering. You can pay for a full-on, all 25,000 hands on deck search, a smaller search, or a mini-search. And the service names are pleasantly intimidating, too: CrowdForce, MicroForce, and ExpertForce. I’ve learned a little about the Use of Force Continuum from my ex-military husband and the first step is officer presence. Or, you know, the use of the word “force”. Not an accident, I’m sure. Well played, AOP product namer people, well played!
- AOP is used for “gold-plating”. I love that term, I’ve used it about 25 times since the webinar and I’m sure it made sense less often than I intended, but whatever. It’s a cool term. What it means for a company using AOP is two things: a) If the whole world, or at least 25,000 highly-educated members of it, can’t find prior art then it probably doesn’t exist and b) Look out! We are using AOP so we’re fixin’ to give you the beat down in your little patent infringement suit there, Mr. Troll.
One bonus thing I learned is that you should mute your phone when on the call. As the slide about the different offerings came up, I hollered out loud “Slickest thing ever”. As God is my witness, I swear to you the host asked if someone had a question. O.M.G., she heard me.
Never found a mute button on a phone so fast in entire my life.