When you are doing a patent search to determine whether it makes sense to spend the time, money and energy to move forward with a patent application you expend an amount of money that is a fraction of the amount you will likely spend on the overall pursuit of the patent. For example, when we do patent searches for software related inventions we charge $2,500, which is roughly 10% of the overall cost of obtaining a software patent from start to finish.  Can you find everything for $2,500? No, but you can get a very good sense of what else is out there and whether there is any realistic likelihood that a patent could be obtained.

Problem with computer related inventions searches

This type of search is just not enough though for some circumstances. Perhaps you are considering acquiring a patent and spending several hundreds of thousands of dollars to do that, or maybe even $1 million, which is likely the top line number anyone could expect to receive for a single patent. In that scenario spending $2,500 to search and investigate the integrity of the rights obtained would not be sufficient due diligence.  You may not want to spend 10% looking since the Patent Office has already issued the patent, but you are likely going to want to search some places where others haven’t likely looked in association with the patent examination process.  Perhaps you do a broad based international patent search and some kind of modest search for non-patent literature to investigate whether it makes sense to acquire the patent.

But what do you do if you are being sued for patent infringement?

if you can validate the claims that can be used against you then win, you can continue doing what you are doing and you don’t have to pay the patent owner, Given the cost of bringing a patent infringement litigation, which averages over $2 million in attorney’s fees alone, you are not likely to be sued for patent infringement unless there is real money at stake. Of course, there are some nefarious actors that engage in “extortion-like” behavior that will sue for even small amounts, but by and large patent infringement litigation only makes sense if there is a large amount of money to be had.

Today there is a different solution for those who need to find that particularly illusive non-patent literature that typically makes up the best, most damaging prior art.  Rather than conduct the search around ever corner and under every stone you can leverage the knowledge of a global network of highly educated and highly trained researchers. Essentially, you can tap into their specific knowledge and stores of information by engaging the power of crowdsourced patent searching.



Crowdsourcing patent research firm

Article One Partners, is the leading crowdsourcing patent research firm in the world. Through their community our global researchers their clients are able to obtain higher confidence that they have performed a true blue-chip patent research in pursuit of that single needle in some remote haystack.

Since Article One became a sponsor whenever I go to industry events it is inevitable that people will come up to me and ask about the company, what they do and how they accomplish their research tasks. I am happy to answer those questions, and typically individuals are surprised to learn about the vetting that goes on internally, as well as being surprised to learn that the Article One research community is comprised of so many individuals who have advanced degrees.  Indeed, 50% of the Article One research community hold advanced degrees.

Increasingly the Article One research platform is being used by more companies and law firms for a variety of reasons.  Indeed, Article One Partners count as their clients some 16 of the Fortune 100, 18 of the top 25 targets of Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), and 7 of the Top 10 Patent Filers in the United States.  The clients use the Article One services for:

  • Patent Litigation (NPE defense, pre-litigation)
  • Due Diligence (Acquisition, Licensing)
  • State of the Art (Landscape, Product clearances)
  • Oppositions (European, Japanese)

Given the cost of finding that most difficult to find prior art on your own it makes sense to spend the 30 minutes to see whether the Article One solution is one that you can benefit from.