Three Free Ways to Generate Patent Family Tree Visualizations

Three Free Ways to Generate Patent Family Tree Visualizations

Presently, the creation of patent family tree visualizations falls on the shoulders of patent lawyers and their paralegals, a process that involves extensive manual labor. 

This often involves reviewing online patent databases and parsing priority claims; a task made all the more difficult by the potential for incomplete records. 

To ensure a thorough and accurate representation, a skilled practitioner would also take the time to review the application cover sheet and transmittal, as well as the priority claims contained within the application itself. 

However, despite the best efforts of these professionals, it is not uncommon for important priority documents or relationships to be overlooked.

There may also be costs associated with obtaining copies of patent documents and accessing information about patents and their family members.

So if you can find a free way to plot patent family trees that offer global coverage across multiple jurisdictions in a visually engaging way–you are all set.

Three Free Tools to Generate Patent Family Tree Visualizations

For your convenience here are three free tools you can choose from to generate patent family trees. Each of these free tools offer different benefits in terms of coverage, intuitive visualization like a Gantt chart, easy access to additional information while analyzing family trees, etc.

  • Patentscope by WIPO provides a free visualization tool that plots a broad family tree but lacks the deeper details
  • Espacenet by European Patent Office provides a free table with records from the application’s family tree but does not provide a visualization
  • The TIP ToolTM by Triangle IP provides both traditional and Gantt visualizations for the patent or application of interest with all the required details about the family members

Let’s go a level deeper to understand the benefits of each of these free tools to ease the tool selection process.

Patentscope

Patentscope is a public database maintained by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It covers all patent applications and issued patents from Patent Cooperation Treaty members, including the patent offices of Europe, Japan, and the U.S.

You create patent family tree visualizations by accessing Patentscope. Select “ID/Number” in the search box, enter the patent application number, and open the chosen patent application. Patentscope gives you the option to select “Patent Family” to view the selected patent’s family tree.

The family tree appears on a static timeline. Each bar in the patent family tree corresponds to the relevant dates associated with the application. The priority document appears in blue.

Patentscope gives a clear visualization that presents the dates of application and publication in chronological order below the family tree. The tree also shows the relationships between applications. Each document number links to the corresponding publication in the WIPO database.

Patentscope does suffer from some drawbacks. The details of a document do not appear when the user hovers over the document’s entry on the tree. Instead, you must use the text list to understand the relationships. As a result, the relationships between documents are not necessarily clear from the visualization. Also, the timeline has a fixed scale that you cannot shrink.

Espacenet

Espacenet is a patent database maintained by the European Patent Office (EPO). To create patent family tree visualizations, you go to the Espacenet search page and enter the patent application number. View the results and open the desired patent application. Select “Patent Family” and “INPADOC Family” to view the selected application’s family tree.

The family tree from Espacenet appears as static tabs. In Espacenet, patent family trees are integrated into the main menu, so users do not need to shuffle between different formats to reach the family tree information. And the tree shows the entire patent family tree in a chronological list.

But Espacenet does not provide a visualization of the applications. This inhibits you from understanding the parent-child relationships between the application of interest and other issued patents and pending applications at a glance. Instead, you must read the tabs.

The TIP Tool™ by Triangle IP

The TIP Tool™ provides a suite of functions for medium-sized enterprises to systematize their patent mining processes. To create a patent family tree, you access the TIP Tool™ dashboard and select “Portfolio Manager.”

Select “Add patent applications” to retrieve patent application data and choose the patent once the data refreshes under the “Filed applications” tab. There, you can view the selected patent’s family tree. The family tree can optionally include non-public information from Private PAIR if you have an account with the USPTO and paid access to Triangle IP.

Adding a Patent or Patent Application to the Portfolio Manager

Adding a Patent or Patent Application to the Portfolio Manager

Continuity Data Visualization as Gantt Chart

The software displays the family tree as a Gantt chart. You can instantly identify the relationships between applications by looking at the bars. Each bar represents a separate application. The location and length of the bars show the priority date, filing date, pendency period and the issue date. It also shows the duration of the time overlap between applications.

The subject application is displayed in bold. Priority applications are identified by the type of application they represent, with PRO identifying provisional applications and CON identifying continuation applications.

Colors distinguish the different phases of a patent application, with blue showing the pendency of pending applications and green showing the patent term of issued patents. The length of the bars also shows when issued patents will expire and when pending applications would expire, if issued. This helps you plan whether and when to file continuing applications based on the patent term you could receive.

You can gather information quickly through flags and deep links that provide detail about each application or patent. 

The display is not cluttered because the Gantt chart only shows applications with direct priority claims and not indirect claims through other priority documents. For example, if you do not claim the grandparent application, it will not show up on the chart even though it provided priority for the parent application.

Gantt Chart like Patent Family Tree Visualization in the TIP Tool

Gantt Chart like Patent Family Tree Visualization in the TIP ToolTM

Traditional Family Tree Visualization

The TIP Tool™ also allows you to plot a traditional family tree. This tree includes arrows pointing from parent applications and patents to your application or patent of interest. It also includes arrows from your application or patent of interest to child applications and patents.

This visualization gives you an instant understanding of the relationships between the parents and children in the family tree. This can be useful in complex patent families with multiple parent and child patents and applications. It can also help you understand the relationships between more distantly related patents and applications such as grandparent or sibling applications.

Equally importantly, each entry in the family tree is positioned on a timeline. This timeline uses spatial positioning to help you understand both the order in which the applications were filed and the duration of the gap between filing dates.

Traditional Patent Family Tree Visualization in the TIP Tool

Traditional Patent Family Tree Visualization in the TIP ToolTM

Unraveling Complex Relationships with Patent Family Tree Visualizations

Complex technologies are often covered by complex networks of related patent applications. Using the right patent family tree visualization software can instantly give you the information you need during patent planning, preparation, and prosecution.

Some important features to consider include the flexibility and usefulness of the displays, ease of accessing detailed information, and intuitiveness of the information presented. Based on these criteria, the TIP Tool™ by Triangle IP edges out the competition. The tool’s visualizations provide detailed and useful information in a simple and intuitive visualization.

To see the TIP Tool™ patent family tree visualizations for yourself, access the free demo playground. This demo will generate a patent family tree for any document available in Public PAIR to preview what you will see from your Private PAIR account on the paid tier of the TIP Tool™.

How to Effortlessly Use the TIP Tool’s Free Patent Family Tree Generator

Free Patent Family Tree Generator

Free online patent family tree generators may have several shortcomings, including 

1. Limited functionality: Free online patent family tree generators may have limited

capabilities. It might be challenging to create and analyze complex patent families with them.

2. Limited coverage: Free online patent family tree generators may not cover different families; for instance, the tool might not cover the INPADOC family

3. Limited number of searches: Some free online patent family tree generators may have

limitations on the number of available searches or the number of patents to visualize in a single tree.

4. Non-intuitive visualizations: Some tools offer a listicle view of patent family members, making it challenging to comprehend relationships.

5. Limited ability to customize: Some tools may have limited customization options. For instance, the tool may not allow us to see the relationship between two specific family members that are a part of a vast and complex patent family tree.

If any of these pain points resonate with you, the TIP ToolTM’s free patent family tree generator is a must-explore option!

The TIP ToolTM’s free patent family tree generator offers Gantt chart style and traditional family tree visualizations with easy access to additional information that a patent attorney would need while analyzing the patent family tree.

Before you explore the tool, let’s take a little tour of its benefits over other free alternatives.

How does the TIP ToolTM‘s Patent Family Tree Generator Make it Easy to Navigate Complex Patent Family Trees?

The TIP ToolTM‘s patent family tree generator offers two visualizations for patent family trees – Traditional and Gantt Chart. Both visualizations and added functionality on top of them make it exceptionally easy and intuitive for patent attorneys to study the patent family trees and assist their clients in making strategic decisions.

Below are some of the benefits of both visualizations and added functionality offered by the TIP ToolTM:

Traditional Patent Family Tree Visualization

  1. The TIP ToolTM allows us to see the relationship between any two specific family members. This functionality becomes extremely useful when a patent family has 10+ members.


  2. The TIP ToolTM shows the flags of the countries that Patent family members belong to, making it easier to understand the global landscape.

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  3. Whenever you click on any particular application in the family tree, you can view details related to that particular family member in the sidebar. For instance, in the following snapshot, you can view the details of a patent family member from Canada.  Moreover, there are related links for the selected family member from databases like Espacenet, Global Dossier, CIPO, and Discuss. You can also download a PDF version of any family members from a link in the sidebar.

    .

Gantt Chart Style Patent Family Tree Visualization

  1. It allows for visual comparison of the prosecution timeline using different colors. For example, gray signifies the priority period, blue represents the pending period, and green represents the applications’ post-issuance and expiry date.

    .
  2. Hovering over any bar in the Gantt chart-style visualizations allows us to see the exact dates associated with the document.

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  3. The tool helps us easily identify the hierarchy of order of filing of applications. The subject application is highlighted in bold font. The markers for parent and child applications are separated by tabbed space along a vertical line. Moreover, provisional and continuation applications are marked PRO and CON, respectively.

Besides all the benefits that we just walked you through, it’s super easy to generate the patent family tree with the TIP ToolTM. All you need to do is add the patent application number. Let’s show you how!

Generating Patent Family Trees with the TIP ToolTM’s Patent Family Tree Generator

Here is a step-by-step guide to generate the patent family tree using the TIP ToolTM

#Step 1: Register on the TIP ToolTM using this link.

#Step 2: Go to the Portfolio Manager tab from the options on the top left.


#Step 3: Click on Add Applications button on the top right, a pop-up window shall open.



#Step 4: Enter the 8-digit public patent application number for which you want to generate the patent family tree in this format 10/282,861 and click submit.



#Step 5: Click on the application of interest from the list view towards the bottom of Portfolio Manager.

#Step 6: Scroll down to the Continuity Data section to explore the Gantt chart-style visualization.


Or click the “Family Tree” button on the top right for the traditional view.


Generate Your Patent Family Tree

In the free version of the TIP ToolTM you can view all patent family members that are public and US-based. However, the TIP ToolTM allows you to see the non-US-based family members as well as the patent family members from the private PAIR as part of its paid tier.

Access the TIP ToolTM now to generate the patent family trees instantly.

While generating the patent family trees, if you face any problems, we will be more than happy to assist you. Just drop us a mail: [email protected]

How the TIP Tool Enables Enterprises to Maximize Patent Prosecution Efficiency?

Maximize Patent Prosecution Efficiency with the TIP Tool

Let’s say your quarterly target is to file patents for 35 inventions, and you have 40 invention disclosures to decide from. Which ones would you want to pick? 

Of course, the low-hanging fruits, right? The patents having greater chances of success at the patent office. 

But how can you be sure that you and other patent committee members are picking the right ones?

If the patent committee arms itself with analytical information like predicted allowance rate, allowance time, rounds of arguments and prosecution cost, the call will be much easier and more accurate.

For instance, a TIP ToolTM user’s client had a case where they already underwent 14 rounds of arguments for one patent application. The result? A budget of ~$35,000 for patent prosecution quickly escalated into $70,000! Ouch!!

Luckily, the TIP ToolTM user, an international law firm, secured patent approval with just one more round of argument. Their client was relieved beyond belief.

Of course, they got the job done with an aggressive approach and spent time understanding and dealing with the patent examiner. 

But they didn’t show up empty-handed to those conversations. 

TIP ToolTM  prepared them with a data-informed strategy to support their client’s needs and secure patent approval. Curious about how they managed? Let’s walk you through the TIP Tool’sTM  functionality and see how it can support your patent prosecution strategy.

Analytics and Predictions that Can Help You Prosecute the Patents More Efficiently

#1 Examiner Analytics

Here’s the thing: every patent examiner is different. 

The patent office isn’t full of robots — each examiner is a human being with different opinions, experience levels, and behaviors. So, of course, those behaviors shouldn’t influence a perfectly sound patent application. But the reality is that they might, to a certain extent. 

Now, wouldn’t it be helpful to have a way of predicting the examiner’s action on your case? 

You would need to start with how they’ve dealt with past cases. What does their allowance rate look like? Have they rejected 100 out of 100 cases or only one throughout their tenure?

If you knew their history of argument rounds and allowances, you could alter your prosecution strategy for better results. Of course, you might consider researching online by Googling your examiner, but our tool provides more accurate insights. 

Let’s say your patent examiner has a history of allowing cases to pass after two rounds of arguments. You look at your case and see that you’re already on round #8. It’s likely something is going sideways with your application.

If you experience disproportionate argument rounds with a relatively easygoing examiner, you know there’s something wrong with your application.

What if your patent examiner averages a whopping ten argument rounds per case? What if their allowance rate is 0%?

Unfortunately, you came across some bad luck with this examiner. It’s likely you’ll never receive approval. Meaning? It might not be worth your time to pursue that particular patent application, and you can better utilise your budget on a new one. 

So, examiner stats help us save time and pinpoint efforts with different applications. It becomes even more vital if you’re dealing with several applications simultaneously. 

#2 Patent Counsel Analytics

Patent counsel analytics are just as valuable to an innovation manager as examiner analytics. How? Well, two reasons. You could discover extreme prowess on behalf of an attorney, skills that could combat the tricky nature of a strict patent examiner.

Let’s say you have a patent case that’s been spinning through endless rounds of arguments. A quick look at the examiner and patent counsel analytics. Lo and behold, the examiner has a record of ten argument rounds on average for each case. However, patent counsel analytics illuminate the perfect attorney for the job. This attorney has a history of resolving patent prosecution within just two rounds of arguments. 

Indeed, this is a fantastic candidate to take on your firm’s patent cases and address the difficult examiner.

#3 Art Unit Analytics

According to the patent office, an art unit is the technology domain (classes) under which your patent application falls. Some examples of different art units include:

  • Telecommunications
  • Data processing
  • Food or edible material
  • Mineral oils
  • Error detection
  • Electrical computers
  • Field chemistry
  • Bleaching and dyeing

Art unit analytics gives you an idea of how long patents in your category take for allowance. Any time you pull up a matter in the tool, the executive summary will tell you a short history of your art unit’s statistics.

For example, you might question whether investing more time and budget into a field chemistry application is worth investing more time and budget dollars. The patent examiner has an average history of allowance rate, but for some reason, you’re stuck in many rounds of arguments. 

Art unit analytics might show a longer average allowance time and a higher number of argument rounds in your application’s domain.

Now, let’s talk numbers.

#4 Cost Estimations

What if you could predict how much money a patent case will cost you down the line? 

Patent prosecution is pricey, and it’s hard to keep track of all the different fees. First, of course, you have the patent counsel fee. But then there are filing fees, government fees, maintenance fees, etc.

Moreover, every additional round of argument may cost ~$5,000.

How can you keep track of all that?

You can’t. Either your attorney or a tool can fetch you this information.

Moreover, decision-making based on costs is much more manageable if you break up end-to-end cost with the remaining cost and the next cost you incur on a particular application.

Say you notice a case needs $20,000 in remaining costs. After all the time you’ve put into the application, you might wonder: 

Why did we even file this patent? 

It’s possible the industry went in another direction and contradicted your predictions. So while you kept throwing money at the case, little progress manifested, and you realized you could have better spent the budget elsewhere.

The TIP ToolTM is excellent at arming you with information that can help you pivot your strategy and redirect that money to a new application, which might get better traction.

How You Can Easily Fetch this Information Using the TIP ToolTM

Ready to infuse more data insights into your patent prosecution strategy? We’ll show you how with the TIP ToolTM.

Portfolio Manager

The Portfolio Manager is your one-stop shop for updates on every patent application you’ve filed. First, it displays a visualization of the number of patents that are:

  • Pending
  • Accepted
  • Abandoned
  • Expired

It also displays quick stats about your patent history, showing the overall allowance rate, allowance time, and the number of argument rounds for all your patent applications. 

But the accompanying two-by-two matrix tells an even deeper story. 

It lists every case as a dot, with a position indicating the number of rounds it’s undergone compared with the average number of rounds for a particular examiner. If the case falls above the diagonal line, the case has some concerns. For example, why does it have more arguments than average? Maybe the idea is no good or just isn’t getting any traction. Either way, the matrix gives you a quick idea of whether you should prune (abandon) a case and save the budget for something else.

Patent Portfolio Triangle IP

Still, this is just a quick look at the cases needing attention. If you want to dive deeper, you can use the TIP Tool’sTM Case Health feature.

Case Health

Case Health speaks to the state of your patent case. You can use individual case analytics to gain deeper insights into how your patent prosecution is going. 

You’ll see the counsel, examiner, and art unit analytics we mentioned earlier, along with patentability predictions and law firm stats. 

This collection of insights gives you a holistic look at your overall case health. From there, you can assess which cases need your attention. Additionally, you can use patent analytics to obtain educated estimates on the chance of approval for each case.

Case Analytics Triangle IP

Notice a case in poor health? You might use insights to take a new approach. But if the cost estimations are too high? It might be less costly to abandon it altogether.

End-to-End Patent Cost Predictions

We mentioned the fees associated with the average patent case — filing, legal, maintenance, and more. The TIP ToolTM helps you access the bottom line or assessment of all these fees by preparing the following figures: 

  • Remaining cost
  • Predicted cost
  • Next cost
  • Latest argument round

Why We Set Out to Build The TIP Tool – The Best Idea and Patent Management Tool for Medium-Sized Enterprises

Patent Management Tool for Enterprises - TIP Tool

Intellectual property (IP) is often a company’s most valuable asset to protect future success. It’s the key to gaining a competitive edge, increasing your revenue stream, encouraging investment, and reducing infringement risks.

A patent management program that protects, enforces and manages these assets is critical to your company’s health. Like any valuable asset, increased control and visibility into your patent portfolio is crucial to continued success.

A comprehensive patent management system can centralize information and track and record assets in a streamlined manner with visibility to all stakeholders. A collaborative approach to your patent portfolio building keeps the process streamlined and aligned with the strategic goals of your enterprise.

But managing these assets requires the proper software tools.

As a patent attorney with more than two decades of experience in IP strategic planning, I specialize in arming my clients with the insights and tools they need to successfully navigate the patent landscape while efficiently building their patent portfolio.

After years in development while building client patent portfolios, my process for protecting intellectual capital is available for all — small and large — enterprises.

As founder of Triangle IP®, I’m proud to offer a cutting-edge cloud-based solution that simplifies the patent management process and helps companies capture enterprise-wide innovation and manage each patent throughout its life cycle using deep learning and data analytics.

Triangle IP’s TIP Tool™ democratizes patent portfolio management with ease-of-use functionality and real-world analytic insights into costs and patentability. All stakeholders have access appropriate to their role in the enterprise with real-time updates and regular updates from the patent office.

The TIP Tool rescues the user from an insanely complex information environment (that makes them dependent on outside counsel) to one where they have all the information they need to make informed and thoughtful decisions. Simplified analytics make strategic decisions simple.

With the TIP Tool, anyone can strategically manage a patent portfolio, just like we have become accustomed to for any other business process.

Gaps in Existing Idea and Patent Management Software Solutions

You’ll want to watch out for these gaps in existing patent management solutions:

  • Inability to engage innovators in the patent mining process
  • No real way to collaborate in real-time 
  • Inability to provide actionable analytics to guide your strategy
  • Inability to provide a holistic view of idea capture and patent pipelines
  • Lack of cost-effective and simple solutions

Inability To Engage Innovators in the Patent Mining Process

Too often, the process of filling out an Invention Disclosure Form (IDF) is so complex that inventors are intimidated and discouraged from completing the task, or they fill it out inaccurately or incompletely. Unfortunately, this results in potentially patentable ideas going uncaptured and lost to the public domain.

Absence of Simultaneous Editing Functionality

The collaboration process is critical to the development of patentable ideas. Unfortunately, IDFs and spreadsheets, sometimes used for patent management, lack collaboration capability with role-based access control for securing your innovation.

Also read: 7 Reasons Why Managing your Intellectual Property Assets on Excel Spreadsheet is a Bad Idea

Inability To Predict the Likelihood of Getting a Patent

Many factors may affect the allowance of your patent application, like the examiner on the case and statistical information about other similar applications. 

Too many available management solutions can’t show the general health of an IP application. They don’t show how your application is faring against other applications in the same domain as things progress throughout the process.

You cannot make informed patenting decisions without an indication of the likelihood of getting a patent or predicted cost.

Inability To Provide a Holistic View of Idea and Patent Pipelines

Very few patent management solutions provide an independent glimpse of the patent activity at your organization. Usually, a view like this requires the assistance of a patent counsel and the expense that goes with it.

The holistic view of the TIP Tool provides information like the patentability of submitted ideas, the enterprise value, and the general health of your patent portfolio.

Without the TIP Tool, it can take many hours to gather reports manually in an actionable format for holistic decision-making.

Lack of Cost Effectiveness

Generic solutions like spreadsheets, databases and CRM tools can be manually configured to serve your patent management. Solutions require extensive customization without advanced features like automatic synching with the patent office database or insight into the likelihood of getting a patent for your idea.

Existing patent management tools are too costly for all but the largest enterprises.  Add to that the expense of personnel to assist with the setup and management of the software.

Existing tools and platforms are impractical for businesses with the largest patent portfolios.

Also read: Salesforce and Jira Alternative for IP Management

Best Patent Management Software for SMEs

Simple to use yet comprehensive, the TIP Tool has a drag-and-drop interface while delivering all the features small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to manage every phase of their patent life cycle.

Short, Simple and Intuitive IDF

The TIP tool makes it easy for innovators to participate in the patent mining process in the following ways:

  • Provides a short and straightforward Invention Disclosure Form (IDF)
  • Notifies innovators as their idea progresses through various stages in the IP life cycle

The TIP Tool also provides an offline version of the IDF, in Word or Excel, for offline use. 

And it’s possible to customize the IDF so you can gather information specific to your organization and modify existing fields as needed.

Also check: Invention Disclosure Form Word/Excel Template [Downloadable]

Seamless Real-Time Collaboration

The TIP Tool allows simultaneous collaboration with teammates to refine ideas. It also provides for managers to select the most promising IDFs in a vetting stage for patenting.

The following features allow members to collaborate as they would face-to-face:

  • Team members can simultaneously edit any part of the idea text in an IDF
  • They can add comments on published IDFs for others to see
  • The TIP Tool tracks of every change made to an idea and keeps a record of the user who made the change

Case Health Powered By Patent Data

The TIP Tool provides patent analytics so you can make informed patent decisions. 

With the TIP Tool, you can:

  • Know the likelihood of getting a patent on your idea and what it will cost
  • Keep your file patent application in sync with patent office status updates
  • Organize ideas using tags for different criteria

All this data can be used to guide strategic decisions for your application.

Dashboards To Keep Tabs on Your Innovation Pipeline

The TIP tool’s dashboard provides a holistic view of your idea pipeline, the filed USPTO applications and existing patents. Every user receives a dashboard with status information relevant to their role.

These dashboards can help you get a pulse on the quality of the ideas submitted, probable roadblocks and your inventor activity. 

Cost Effective

The TIP Tool is an easy-to-use comprehensive patent management solution that requires no customization.

With the TIP Tool, you save money on developers since you don’t need expensive modifications to a homegrown solution. Furthermore, since it’s intuitive and easy to use, you save money on management and training — anyone can use it. 

You save money on counsel since the TIP Tool provides many of the analytic insights you would otherwise have to pay for. And you save money by making decisions based on analytics rather than just guessing costs and likelihood of sucess.

Additionally, the TIP Tool offers a highly cost-effective pricing structure that makes this state-of-the-art tool accessible to almost anyone. You can check pricing details here.

Parting Thoughts

Unfortunately, for many companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, the necessary tools to efficiently patent their ideas are unavailable.

The TIP Tool provides organization, collaboration and insights that help everyone protect their inventions without complexity, expensive customizations or high legal costs. 

Inventors, innovation managers and any stakeholder in the patent procurement process can easily use this best-in-class patent manager, which provides: 

  • collaborative innovation capture
  • a pipeline to organize and track progress
  • progress tracking after filing with world-class analytics and insights

The TIP Tool provides strategic protection of your innovations with a solution that requires no special training or expertise with the most cost-effective pricing.

Try it out here.

How To Reduce Dependence on Outside IP Counsel for Patent-Related Matters?

How To Reduce Dependence on Outside IP Counsel for Patent-Related Matters

The process of filing for and obtaining a patent is lengthy and expensive. USPTO application fees, legal fees, and drawing costs can drain a budget and prevent promising inventions from getting to market.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to mitigate the priciest portion of this process — legal fees.

Although attorney fees can’t be completely avoided, there’s a way to decrease legal expenses and, at the same time, gain a tool for making smarter patent-related decisions.

Triangle IP’s TIP Tool™ is an innovative, interactive, web-based portal that keeps you in sync with the USPTO and provides answers your patent attorney would bill you for.

With the TIP Tool, you no longer have to pay counsel for USPTO updates, status reports, and insights.

The TIP Tool uses powerful data science to give you the information you need to track your case and make intelligent decisions without paying your attorney for often limited or inadequate answers.

“When you want to know how things are going with your case or what’s likely to happen, your attorney charges you for answers that can be difficult to understand or are often based on a gut feeling,” says Thomas Franklin, co-founder of Triangle IP. “With the TIP Tool, you get the facts, simply and clearly.”

The TIP Tool uses data analytics, so you know the information you’re getting is science-based. You can use it confidently to guide decisions about how to move forward with your case.

Reducing dependence on outside IP counsel

Five Critical Pieces of IP Information the TIP Tool Delivers

With the TIP Tool, you no longer need to pay for potentially complicated or speculative answers to your patent-related questions. The TIP Tool makes it easy to find answers with no legal fees. 

These five key pieces of information help you make sound decisions based on science rather than guesswork.

1. Status of a Patent or Patent Application
The TIP Tool provides an easy way to capture, track and manage your patent pipeline from invention disclosures to patents.

You can watch your ideas progress through idea capture, internal vetting, patent drafting, and filing. Along the way, you can instantly notify team members and stakeholders of any changes or updates.

Because the TIP Tool is in sync with the USPTO, it also provides automatic status updates for your published and unpublished applications.

With the TIP Tool, you no longer need to depend on outside counsel for status updates. Instead, you’re immediately notified of any actions the USPTO wants you to take as well as any changes in the application process.

The TIP Tool saves you time; you no longer have to call your attorney for updates and wait for a response. And it saves you money; all USPTO status changes are immediately available so you can make timely and informed decisions.

With the TIP Tool, you can keep tabs on your case, determine how your application is progressing compared to others in the same domain and decide which patent application might need your immediate attention.

Automatic USPTO updates with the TIP Tool
Automatic USPTO updates with the TIP Tool

2. Likelihood of Getting a Patent
The likelihood of getting a patent majorly depends on the allowance rate of the examiner assigned to a case besides other factors. An attorney can speculate based on professional experience, but the TIP Tool provides examiner analytics to help you pursue patent applications efficiently.

“When you want to know the likelihood of getting a patent, you don’t want to hear your counsel tell you, ‘Wow, I’m feeling really good about it.’ You want data, not hunches,” says Franklin. “The TIP Tool tells you your examiner’s allowance rate so you can determine your chances and whether to expect additional rounds with this particular examiner. This is good information to have. It allows you to make informed decisions.”

The more you know how the examiner handling your case might respond to it, the better you’ll be able to negotiate the patent.

The TIP Tool puts you in the driver’s seat when choosing the right actions to pursue your case.

Detailed Examiner Analytics Triangle IP
Detailed Examiner Analytics

3. Case Analytics
The TIP Tool allows you to extend your knowledge base about your case so you can make more informed decisions without the need for counsel.

The TIP Tool provides the precise intel you need for each case, such as:

  • How far along it is in the process
  • How the patent counsel handling your case has prosecuted other patent applications
  • How are other patent applications performing in the same art unit
  • The anticipated costs for end-to-end prosecution
  • How much resistance the case is meeting at the patent office
  • A family tree so you can see what other cases proceeded it or maybe follow it
  • What’s going on overseas
  • A timeline of interactions with the patent office 

The TIP Tool provides thorough updates on your case, so you don’t need to pay your attorney for answers.

Patent Counsel and Examiner Analytics Triangle IP
Patent Counsel and Examiner Analytics

4.  Cost Estimations

The TIP Tool gives you the information you need to predict patent costs and create a realistic budget. 

Among other things, the TIP Tool helps you determine the chances of success. Based on the intelligence it gathers by studying millions of applications, the TIP Tool provides the data you need to decide how much of an investment you’re willing to make to pursue a case.

When your decisions are based on data science, you can create realistic budgets that rely on patent data, competitive activity and USPTO behavior,” says Franklin. 

With the TIP Tool, you can determine if the invention stands a good chance and how much the patent will cost you over the years if you decide to move forward.

In fact, the TIP Tool also gives a complete breakdown of costs for provisional as well as non-provisional patents and patent applications

Cost Estimation Triangle IP
Cost Estimation

5. Holistic View of the Patent Portfolio

Instead of relying on your attorney for answers, you can count on the TIP Tool to give you actionable intelligence about your cases.

In the Portfolio Manager tab, you can find all the data you need to make informed decisions about your case. Among other things, you can compare the allowance rate of the examiner on your case to the number of rounds the case has gone through.

“For instance, if you have a case in which the examiner on average allows the case after two rounds, but your case has already gone seven rounds, then it’s a good sign there might be something wrong with the case,” says Franklin. “The TIP Tool alerts you to this kind of issue so you can make an informed decision about whether to continue pursuing the case or abandon it and save the budget for something else.”

From specifics about the progress of your case to details about related national and international applications, the TIP Tool provides accessible and easy-to-understand data that gives you a holistic view of all the pieces you need to make thoughtful, educated, and strategic decisions about your

patent process.

Read also How to Reduce Outside Legal Services Fees.

Parting Thoughts

The TIP Tool by Triangle IP is dedicated to democratizing the patent acquisition process. 

This easy-to-use IP patent management software solution delivers a transparent and autonomous system for tracking and managing the progress of your innovative ideas.

Synced to the USPTO, the TIP Tool also provides the data you need to track case progress and make educated strategic decisions without having to pay outside counsel.

Ready for a Test Drive?

Try out the TIP Tool by exploring a pre-populated sample patent portfolio here.

IPFolio Competitors and Alternatives: Choosing the Best Patent Management Software for Medium-Sized Enterprises

IPFolio Competitors and Alternatives

IPFolio is a part of Clarivate’s broad product line. Coupled with two other tools from Clarivate – FoundationIP and Innography – IPFolio offers a complete IP lifecycle management package.

IPFolio is designed explicitly for corporate teams that want greater control over their IP operations but with minimum effort.

Despite being a great choice, IPFolio users have complained about the complex user interface, the need for many custom enhancements, and the difficulty in running reports.

If you are looking for alternatives to IPFolio for similar reasons, you have reached the right place.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a fair idea about five promising alternatives to IPFolio.

Let’s dive in!

Five Promising IPFolio Alternatives

Here are five alternatives to IPFolio:

Triangle IP’s TIP ToolTM

Triangle IP’s TIPTM Tool puts you in control of your patent mining process. The TIP ToolTM simplifies patent management by offering an intuitive drag-and-drop interface to move and track ideas as they progress through the IP lifecycle.

The four stages of the lifecycle are Idea Capture, Internal Vetting, Patent Drafting, and Filed.

The short and simple idea disclosure form minimizes the friction from innovators engaging in the idea capture process. The seamless real-time collaboration facilitates thorough vetting of ideas. Automatic syncing with the USPTO on status updates of patent applications and patents reduces your legal bills.

Moreover, you can make more informed IP decisions based on the analytical insights that the TIP ToolTM provides, like

  • Patentability score and case health,
  • End-to-end cost predictions,
  • A holistic view of idea and patent pipelines

Top Features

Let’s take a look at the top five features to understand why Triangle IP’s TIP ToolTM is an excellent IPFolio alternative:

Intuitive Idea Submission Form

Triangle IP’s TIP ToolTM offers a short, simple, intuitive, and engaging invention disclosure form (IDF). This feature enables easy capture of ideas. Moreover, it encourages inventors to submit their inventions for patent protection to establish a competitive IP advantage.

Customizable Idea Capture Form

The TIP ToolTM users can customize the invention disclosure form (IDF) per the enterprise’s needs. This feature offers a high degree of personalization and the ability to incorporate an enterprise’s internal nomenclature.

Tags to Ease Filtering

The TIP ToolTM allows for segregating and filtering ideas easily. Users can utilize specific keywords to tag patentable ideas around a particular technology, product category, or business function.

Brainstorm Ideas With Stakeholders On A Real-Time Basis

Users can replicate face-to-face discussions using the TIP ToolTM. It allows effective collaboration amongst all collaborators – managers, inventors, technical reviewers, and patent counsel – to brainstorm and refine ideas.

Effective Collaboration to Refine the Ideas

The TIP ToolTM offers an editing functionality like Google Docs, allowing two or more users to edit idea summaries simultaneously. Moreover, team members can also add comments to the idea and its summary.

Access the Change Log

The TIP ToolTM maintains version history to track and record any changes made to a disclosed invention. This feature is beneficial for visualizing the change path and rolling back specific changes.

End-to-End Tracking from Ideas to Patents and Beyond

The TIP ToolTM offers complete patent pipeline visibility. It helps establish end-to-end tracking from ideas to patents and beyond. View the entire IP lifecycle, from

  • Capturing the idea
  • Evaluating and vetting the patentable idea
  • Drafting the patent application
  • Filed the patent application
  • Managing the patent portfolio

The TIP ToolTM offers visibility on all of these aspects.

Receive Status Updates on Ideas

The TIP ToolTM lets all stakeholders stay updated on an idea’s status and the IP stage in which it resides.

Inventors can receive updates on comments from an idea’s reviewer. Additionally, they receive updates when their idea is filed for patenting.

Ease of Thorough Vetting

The TIP ToolTM allows collaborators to quickly exchange thoughts over an idea or a patent draft by offering timely notifications of new changes. This ability makes it possible to vet ideas thoroughly.

Case Analytics

The TIP ToolTM allows users to see the general ‘health’ of the patent application. Users can understand how other patent applications have fared in a particular domain.

Moreover, enterprises can view the patent counsel’s performance in handling their patent application.

Manage Patent Budget Wisely With End-to-End Cost Predictions

The TIP ToolTM provides complete information on how much a patent will cost during its lifetime. Your enterprise can make budget allocations based on cost estimates, including drafting fees, office action response fees, and more. Enterprises can quickly narrow down ideas worth pursuing based on time and cost constraints.

Discover the Likelihood of Getting a Patent

The TIP ToolTM offers a patentability score to predict the likelihood of getting a patent based on deep learning analytics.

Detailed Examiner Analytics

The TIP ToolTM provides detailed analytics on your idea’s assigned examiner. This information assists your patent attorney in strategizing the patent prosecution.

Stay In-Sync With USPTO

The TIP ToolTM drastically reduces costs paid to attorneys for receiving communications from USPTO. The TIP ToolTM provides immediate updates regarding application status using USPTO PAIR (Public and Private both). It also provides notifications on any PTO rejections.

Dashboards for a Holistic View

With the TIP ToolTM’s informative dashboards, innovation managers can obtain a holistic view of the idea pipeline at a glance.

Additionally, innovation managers can get a pulse of the quality of the ideas submitted, the probable roadblocks, and each inventor’s activity.

Key Differentiator

The TIP ToolTM is designed explicitly for innovation managers from non-IP backgrounds to easily get and use patent portfolio-related information to manage ideas and patent pipelines effectively. 

User’s Perspective

A user on Capterra describes the TIP ToolTM as intuitive for capturing and collaborating over ideas. A glimpse of the pros they’ve listed down

  • Easy and intuitive inventor form.
  • Ease of collaboration results in the thorough vetting of the ideas.
  • Scoring the ideas helps in prioritizing ideas to be pursued for patenting.
  • Drag and drop ideas from one stage to another.

Who is This For?

A medium-sized enterprise that needs a systematic patent mining process to manage its patent portfolio strategically.

Pricing

There is a free tier with up to 10 users, storage of 5 GB, up to 10 MB file size, and a single portfolio.

The premium tier costs $50/month and $495/year. Features include:

  • Up to 100 users
  • Storage 20 GB
  • Up to 50 MB file size
  • Three Portfolios
  • Case Analytics
  • Real-Time Collaboration
  • Private PAIR Access

Our premium plans have the right features for a medium-sized enterprise. There’s also custom pricing for bespoke features.

Website

You can explore the TIP ToolTM by visiting Triangle IP’s website.

Demo

The TIP ToolTM offers a demo playground with pre-populated data to easily explore the tool’s functionalities. Sign up for an interactive product demo to experience the power of TIP ToolTM’s features for yourself!

ideaPoint by Anaqua

ideaPoint is an end-to-end IP management tool offered by Anaqua. ideaPoint design helps enterprises capitalize on innovations of different originations—internal or external.

ideaPoint offers total management of the innovation lifecycle. Enterprises can strategically explore, assess, and seize various innovation prospects. In addition, the tool allows them to secure strategic partnerships and manage crucial requests, projects, and alliances.

Top Features

Here are ideaPoint’s key features:

Collect Ideas

To streamline the process of collecting ideas, ideaPoint provides a detailed idea submission form. The form contains fields such as

  • Brief description
  • Type of innovation
  • Need/problem addressed
  • Stakeholders
Effective Collaboration

ideaPoint has collaborative features that enable people to participate in the idea-refining process. Engage people by

  • Inviting them to collaborate on an idea.
  • Utilizing the message board for ad-hoc communications.
  • Assigning evaluation of ideas to suitable people.
Gamification

ideaPoint provides an innovation board to gamify the innovation process. Users can introduce challenges and define problem areas and specific areas of interest.

Receive Status Reports

ideaPoint also provides users with reports and insights for their ideas. This reporting feature helps users to review, rank, and ultimately decide the path they want to take for an idea.

Key Differentiator and Benefits

  • An intuitive idea submission form that contains all necessary fields.
  • Message board for ad-hoc communications leading to smooth workflows without delays.
  • Invite innovators to work together on ideas.
  • Users can utilize Anaqua’s other services to manage partner collaborations resulting from the innovation process.

User’s Perspective

A review on G2 says ideaPoint is a simple-to-use software with many features. The user highlighted the following:

  • The software integrates seamlessly with other spreadsheet-based systems and has excellent reporting functions. 
  • The software is a bit basic, which could be limiting in some cases.

Who is This For?

Small businesses and enterprises specifically engaged in clinical trial data sharing and medical affairs programs.

Pricing

Users need to submit a request for ideaPoint’s pricing information.

Website

You can explore ideaPoint by visiting Anaqua’s website.

Demo

ideaPoint does not have a free demo video, but users can request a demo.

Accept Mission

Accept Mission is an end-to-end innovation management software enabling use cases such as innovation strategy, innovation program, innovation training, software implementation, and innovation campaign. Accept Mission’s integrated platform can get you through all stages of your innovation process.

Let’s look at its key features to understand Accept Mission better.

Key features

Manage Ideas Comprehensively

With Accept Mission, users can collect, manage, score, and select ideas. Accept Mission offers idea boxes to gather ideas on any topic. A script feature called Ideation lets you ask questions about ideas.

Score and Select Best Ideas

To help enterprises choose the best ideas, Accept Mission has some scoring features. These are

  • Upvoting with likes and comments.
  • Custom scoring criteria and weighted values.
  • Algorithms that indicate exciting ideas.
Run Innovation Campaigns

Using Accept Mission, enterprises can run innovation campaigns to collect ideas from internal and external stakeholders. Further, Accept Mission allows tracking campaigns in the innovation dashboard called “Innovation Land.”

Gamify Innovation

At Accept Mission, the innovation process has been made fun with various gamification elements. These are

  • Leaderboards showing the top 5 idea boxes, ideations, and boards.
  • Undercover mode allows people to like, comment, and add ideas without revealing their true identity.
  • Hackathon digitalization features that include selecting the best innovations by a jury.
Engage with People

Accept Mission provides a board feature that invites partners and employees to share and work on ideas. Users can follow, score, upvote, and share ideas. Tags and mentions offer notifications of updates to ideas.

Track Project Portfolio Progress

A separate section with all project information gives users a bird’s eye view of the portfolio. They can filter projects by status and department. Progress percentages track each project’s progress.

Utilize Reports and Dashboards

The innovation dashboard summarizes every innovation success on the platform. The idea funnels, top 5 projects, idea boxes, ideations, boards, and more offer a clear picture of all the progress. Using specific keywords provides the ability to get innovation trend reports.

Integrate Applications

Accept Mission is one of the only tools in this list that lets you integrate with essential business applications. You can integrate with the following:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Business Intelligence integration with tools like Tableau and Power BI
  • APIs
  • Custom Integrations

Key Differentiator and Benefits

  • Undercover feature that lets people engage without feeling judged.
  • Top 5 ideas, ideations, and board information that helps in making better decisions.
  • Features like votes, likes, comments, and intelligent algorithm suggestions for idea scoring.
  • Trends reports based on various keywords.
  • Percentages show innovation progress for easy tracking.

User’s Perspective

A user on Capterra described Accept Mission as an “excellent solution to improve innovation in organization.”  Here are the highlights:

  • It is easy to use, has a great design, and has many options.
  • The customer care is friendly, responsive, and knowledgeable.
  • The ability to convert an idea into a project and work on it is great. 
  • The platform could improve by introducing other languages apart from English.

Who is This For?

Medium to large enterprises that are actively engaged in the innovation process and looking to improve it.

Pricing

Accept Mission has a forever free plan that allows up to 25 users. Up to 2 campaigns and funnels can be activated with this plan. 

The paid plans are as follows:

  • Basic at €60/month: 5 campaigns and funnels with up to 15 users.
  • Pro at €98/month: Unlimited campaigns and funnels with up to 15 users.

Enterprise brands can get custom pricing with unlimited campaigns, funnels, and users.

Website

You can explore further by visiting Accept Mission’s website.

Demo

Accept Mission does not have a free demo video, but users can request a demo.

AppColl

AppColl is a user-friendly, automated cloud-based patent & trademark management system to increase productivity through collaboration. AppColl’s invention manager makes it easy to start, track, manage and report your patent management process.

Top Features

Let’s take a look at its key features to understand better AppColl’s invention manager:

Customizable and Comprehensive Disclosure Form

AppColl has a customizable idea disclosure that can include up to 48 questions. It allows setting text limits and making fields optional or required. The tool can also set up metadata, like keywords, products, etc., within the form. Moreover, inventors can drag and drop essential documents.

Filter Information Flexibly

Your IP team can filter information based on the data collected in the idea disclosure form—including the custom fields.

Generate and Customize Reports Limitlessly

AppColl allows generating of unlimited, customizable bar graphs and pie charts based on the ideas collected. To alter the appearance of the dashboard’s reporting view, users can drag, drop, and resize charts.

Trigger Custom Notifications

During the invention approval workflow, users can send email triggers to alert people about updates or required actions. AppColl also allows sending customized emails to people internal and external to your organization.

Integrate with Enterprise Software 

AppColl’s invention manager can be integrated with other business software. Regular HR data feeds can be automatically processed to ensure that contact and organizational information in AppColl is constantly current against your internal HR system. You can frequently send custom data feeds of AppColl data to your analysis tools.

Key Differentiator and Benefits

  • You can set up single sign-on login so that users who have already logged into your internal network can access AppColl without having to input their login information again.
  • AppColl allows tracking disclosures using unique tags based on product categories, phrases, or other custom criteria.
  • Customizable reports that can be exported to spreadsheets and distributed via email or secure file transfer protocols. 
  • AppColl supports automating inventor awards and other complex award systems.

User’s Perspective

A user on G2 described AppColl as the “best IPM system.” Here’s what they had to say:

  • Simple and easy to use and learn.
  • Flexible features that allow us to provide useful information to both clients and internal resources.
  • Automation aspects save a lot of time.
  • The ability to link with OneDrive would be nice.

Who is This For?

Patent firms and multinational corporate IP teams.

Pricing

USD 350 per month for the invention manager, check their pricing page for further details.

Website

You can explore further by visiting AppColl’s website.

Demo

You can contact AppColl to schedule a demo.Decipher

Decipher offers functionality for managing IP portfolios and disclosures of inventions. Together, these two products create an excellent innovation management system. This functionality allows you to increase innovation output, streamline collaboration, get a complete view of your assets and manage and control costs.

You have the following features to collect ideas:

  • Automated workflow of invention disclosure, review, and decision-making.
  • Collaboration features like automated alerts, permission controls, and KPIs.
  • Customizable disclosure form for improved disclosure quality.

Top Features

Take a look at Decipher’s key features to better understand its IP portfolio management:

Establish IP Goals

You can also establish IP goals, track them and receive insights into the progress toward achieving them.

  • Track innovation activity and IP assets to set and modify IP goals.
  • Receive real-time insights with the help of built-in reports and analysis.
Set Innovation Challenges

To incorporate business strategy with IP processes, you can set innovation goals and track your progress toward them.

Receive Insights

You or your team can cross-reference your IP assets with associated products, expenses, business units, and people. For example, insights about whether to renew a patent or not can be seen by looking at usage and performance data.

Control Costs

Decipher enables cost-efficient decision-making with automated and powerful reporting. 

  • You can avoid wasting resources by looking at IP and asset performance reports. 
  • Automation and workflow features cut down on IP admin costs.
Receive Billing Information

All cost and billing information is available in Decipher patent management software. You can:

  • Make a comprehensive report detailing all expenditures and actions taken by the enterprise in connection with pending patent cases.
  • Make individual reports segmented by patent asset, legal counsel, tasks carried out, timekeeper, and other factors.
  • Compare and identify the most effective outside companies for required legal services.

Key Differentiator and Benefits

  • Automation and workflow processes help perform innovations within a budget.
  • IP insights that help in making decisions regarding the renewal of patents and innovatively staying ahead of the curve.
  • Assist you in tracking your IP assets and innovation activities to determine whether you are keeping up with business needs.

Who Is This For?

Mostly Fortune 500 companies.

Pricing

Pricing information is not provided on the website, but you can contact team Decipher.

Website

You can explore further by visiting Decipher.

Demo

Decipher provides a quick demo and the option to request a 30-day free trial.

Quick Comparison of all 5 IPFolio Alternatives

ParameterIPFolio TIP ToolTMideaPoint AnaquaAccept MissionAppCollDecipher
Customizable Idea Capture FormNoYesNoNoYesNo
Real-Time collaborationYesYes. Comes with asynchronous editing and change logYes. Offers invite and assign featuresYes. Allows using tags and mentionsYes. Offers using custom trigger emailsYes. Users can send automated alerts and permission controls
Establish Innovation ChallengesNoNoYesNoNoNo
Case Analytics and Cost EstimationYesYes. Comes with lifetime cost estimates and success rate estimatesStatus reports can be viewed, but no cost estimatesNo cost estimates are availableNo cost estimates are availableNo cost estimates are available
Key DifferentiatorCustom reportsEasy to use by people from non-IP backgroundsGamification elementsComprehensive idea scoringAutomated inventor bonus programsHighly customizable for specific enterprise needs
Suitable Company ProfileCorporate IP teamsInnovation-driven medium-sized enterprisesBusinesses engaged in clinical trial data sharing and medical affairs programsMedium to large enterprises that are actively engaged in the innovation process and are looking to improve itPatent firms and multinational corporate IP teams Mostly Fortune 500 companies
PricingAvailable on requestStarts at $0Available on requestStarts at $0Available on requestAvailable on request

Parting Thoughts

Effective patent mining necessitates systematic processes and made-for-purpose tools. The selection process, however, isn’t that simple. A suitable software solution must:

  • Offers an invention disclosure form that minimizes the friction from innovators in idea submission
  • Offers intuitive drag-and-drop functionality to progress ideas through the end-to-end IP life cycle 
  • Allows stakeholders to seamlessly collaborate to refine an idea by facilitating simultaneous editing of the idea summary, adding comments to the idea summary, and more
  • Provides actionable insights powered by deep learning of patent data for a more efficient patent prosecution
  • Reduces dependability on outside counsel for fetching prosecution and portfolio-related information thereby reducing legal bills

About Us

The TIP ToolTM by Triangle IP is an intuitive drag-and-drop tool that helps you manage the end-to-end IP lifecycle from ideas to patents. The tool underwent creation with the vision of democratization of patents. Usually, the patent process is not transparent, and many enterprises do not have enterprise-wide innovation capture systems and processes. The TIP ToolTM is here to change that. With the TIP ToolTM, anyone in the enterprise can submit and track the progress of their innovative ideas. The TIP ToolTM also helps you manage your patent portfolios with deep learning to guide your patent strategy efficiently.

How to Check the Status of Your Published and Unpublished Patent Applications at USPTO for Free? 

Checking the Status of Your Patent Applications at USPTO

We recently shared a demo of the TIP tool with a prospect, an in-house intellectual property (IP) counsel. He is one in a five-member team of IP counsel for an innovation-driven company with 5,000+ employees. The enterprise files around 120 patent applications every quarter. 

Imagine the kind of insights they need from their patent portfolio to plan quarterly IP activities. Plus, multiple inventors asking for an update on their patent cases could be a bit tricky to handle.

The prospect asked if there was an easy and cost-effective way to obtain patent application status updates from the USPTO.

That’s exactly what Triangle IP’s founders sought when they first launched the TIP Tool™. 

We’ll dive into how it works shortly.

Three Ways of Checking the Status of your Patent Application

  • Patent Office – Laborious
  • Patent Counsel – Expensive
  • Triangle IP’s TIP tool – Super Easy and Cost-Effective

#1 – Patent Office – Laborious

The Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) System comprises two sections of the USPTO’s viewable electronic patent database system. 

Public PAIR

Public Pair is a free, searchable system with full-text literature and images from public patent applications. Patent attorneys might feel more comfortable using it, but inventors can also search for their patent application status at no cost. Here, you can access published applications, patents, and priority applications. 

Until recently, the Public PAIR was open to anyone. However, the USPTO has retired Public PAIR, effective July 31, 2022. 

Now, you can access its functionality at the Patent Center, the new tool for patent management in a single unified interface.

Checking status of patent application at USPTO Triangle IP

Source – Patent Center

Private PAIR

Private PAIR is the unpublished half of the PAIR system. Inventors and attorneys can use it to access a specific patent request (unpublished patent) and view its real-time status. 

This is the easiest and fastest way to check a patent’s status. But not everyone can use it so seamlessly. 

To access Private PAIR, you must meet these criteria:

  1. Be a registered patent attorney/agent, an independent inventor, or a person granted limited recognition;
  2. Have a customer number; and
  3. Have a verified USPTO.gov account

Now, even if you meet that criterion; fetching the status one-by-one for hundreds of applications is a cumbersome process.

#2 – Patent Counsel – Expensive

Your patent counsel (attorney) likely filled and submitted your patent applications in the first place. Counsel handles correspondence between you and your local patent office and records everything in a docketing system. 

The system then generates spreadsheet reports that are pretty much inaccessible, costing you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars for your attorney to transform them into actionable insights. 

#3 – Triangle IP’s TIP Tool – Super Easy and Cost-Effective

What if you could have the status of each and every case in your patent portfolio without

  • Spending hundreds of dollars in billable hours from your patent attorney
  • Spending hours deciphering reports

A simple inquiry shouldn’t come at an exorbitant cost or time commitment.Companies should be able to know their patent portfolio status whenever they need to — and our TIP Tool gives you that autonomy at no cost. 

Bird’s Eye View

The TIP ToolTM lists all your patent cases in the portfolio tab. At the top of the page, you’ll see a general glimpse of your patent portfolio. You’ll know how many patents are approved and patented, pending, or abandoned in no time. 

Source – The Portfolio Tab in the TIP tool with a Sample Patent Portfolio

Detailed View

In that same portfolio tab, you’ll see a table just below the glimpse view. The table contains every patent application you’ve worked on, along with their docket numbers, tags, examiners, relevant dates, and status.

The TIP ToolTM populates the table with automatic updates from USPTO PAIR to track the progress of your patent applications. It also notifies you about any patent rejections received for your cases.

Source – The Portfolio Tab in the TIP tool with a Sample Patent Portfolio

Parting Thoughts

We sought to break through the barriers of high costs and long processes with something  more convenient and transparent, led by our vision of the democratization of patents.

The TIP ToolTM places you right in the middle of your patent management efforts, and that’s how it should be. It’s the fastest, most affordable way to check your published and unpublished patent application statuses with automatic syncs with the USPTO. 

Plus, it’s the only software tool that gives you a full view of the end-to-end IP cycle in your organization — from mere ideas to filed and approved patents in a kanban view. 

Ready to see how it works? Explore the TIP ToolTM functionality with our interactive product demo!

How Can You Reduce Your Outside Legal Services Fees?

How Can You Reduce Your Outside Legal Services Fees

Some outside patent firms have policies that make it easy and inexpensive to get information about your cases. But many of them will charge a few hundred dollars for status updates, even if you only talk to a paralegal. This leaves applicants in a difficult situation — they can fly blind without the information they need to make important business decisions or they can pay for information every time they need it.

As a result, inventors, managers, and leaders end up screening their questions. They dismiss questions as:

  • Expensive
  • Unimportant
  • Irrelevant

But failing to keep in sync with your patent lawyers and the U.S. Patent Office can leave you without important information that your business needs.

Below, you will learn how you can reduce your outside legal services fees while still staying on top of your patent cases.

Breaking Down Patent Information Silos

Until very recently, information about patent applications was siloed in two places:

  • The Patent Office
  • Your patent law firm

Your patent counsel who filed your patent applications was the designated correspondence address with the Patent Office. The Patent Office sent all paper and electronic correspondence in your application to your patent lawyers at their address.

Your outside firm would enter the correspondence into the firm’s docketing system and place a copy into your file. These docketing systems are usually very complex and include a lot of information. In fact, docketing systems are an overkill for small to medium sized enterprises.

Although these systems sometimes allow access by clients through an extranet, you will often need some interpretation of the information in your file to make sense of it. At best, you will be able to extract a docket sheet or status report. But these are usually designed for your patent law firm and may be indecipherable by clients.

Even though you have access to the silo containing your patent information, you still face paying your patent lawyers and their staff to convert this information to something your business can use in its decision-making.

Maintaining and Accessing Your Company’s Information

At the heart of this frustration over your patent portfolio is that your company has to pay to access information owned by it. The TIP Tool allows you to take control of your company’s information.

The TIP Tool includes a “Portfolio Manager” tab. You can find a list of all your cases under this tab. As you click on each case, the TIP Tool pulls up a window. This window provides information on your case, including:

  • An easy-to-read copy of the patent application
  • How well the case is proceeding
  • A timeline of the back and forth about the application with the patent examiner
  • Whether the case has met more resistance from the Patent Office than expected
  • Anticipated costs for the case
  • The application’s family tree of related applications
  • What has happened overseas in any foreign applications

The TIP Tool does not give you the dry, technical information your patent lawyer needs to track and prosecute your case. Instead, it gives you actionable intelligence about your cases without having to pay your patent law firm for answers.

Intuitive for Your Company’s Innovators and Leaders

Just as importantly, the TIP Tool from Triangle IP presents this information easily and quickly. With the Patent Office’s PAIR system and free databases like Google Patents, you could dedicate one of your employees to gathering this information and preparing a report for your inventors, managers, and leaders. But this takes time, money, and training. The TIP Tool already knows how to perform all these tasks.

Even more importantly, your company can customize the TIP Tool to provide the precise information it needs. You can tag applications with the ideas, products, or technologies they contain. You can then use these tags to quickly identify a subset of your patent applications along with their statuses.

Quick Answers for all Stakeholders

For example, suppose your company’s executives need to know all the patent applications related to mobile phones. If you ask your patent counsel that question, you could receive a huge bill along with the answer to your question.

Your patent lawyer does not have a detailed understanding of your products or patent portfolio. Your patent lawyer works for many clients and will probably need to read through the docket sheet and probably several of your applications to find the answer to your question. The time your lawyer spent doing this for your company has value and the firm will probably bill you for it.

At the same time, your innovators, managers, and leaders do understand your patent portfolio and products. As you file each application, the inventors can tag the application with contemplated products using the TIP Tool. When the executive asks for a list of all the patent applications related to mobile phones, a search for that product tag will produce a list quickly and, most importantly, without paying legal services fees.

Saving Money on Outside Legal Services with the TIP Tool

The TIP Tool has been designed to provide an innovative, interactive web-based portal. The information in the TIP Tool is accessible to all the managers and administrators responsible for the patent applications. Inventors only get access to the information they need, such as the applications where they are included unless they get enhanced access rights.

Such an intuitively designed tool allows administrators, managers, and inventors to gather the information they need or answer questions from company leaders about the patent applications they find. By breaking down the patent information silos and making this information transparent, your business will have the answers it needs to make intelligent and strategic decisions.

You can learn more about the Triangle IP’s TIP Tool by using the free demo playground. This demonstration will show you the power of the Portfolio Manager tab as well as the TIP Tool’s other features.

How Can You Build a Better Strategy for Patent Prosecution?

How Can You Build a Better Strategy for Patent Prosecution?

You have heard your patent lawyer talk about patent prosecution. But for most patent applicants, this process is a mystery. And if you do not understand the process, you cannot develop a strategy to manage it.

Without a strategy, your success rate depends wholly on your patent attorney’s skills and, unfortunately, chance. Why does this happen? The patent office assigns applications to examiners randomly, and different examiners have wildly divergent allowance rates.

Here are some ways you can use Triangle IP’s TIP tool to gather intelligence relevant to your application and build a strategy for allowance.

Actionable Intelligence Provides the Basis for a Prosecution Strategy

Patent prosecution includes all the steps that happen after filing a patent application. When a patent lawyer refers to prosecution, they mean office actions and office action responses. These usually include arguments from the patent office giving reasons for rejection and arguments from your patent lawyer addressing the rejection. During this process, you may experience a dearth of information. As the arguments fly back and forth, you will have no way to evaluate:

  • How much the application will cost to finish
  • What’s the likelihood of allowance
  • Which claims might get allowed
  • Whether you have the right counsel for this application

Your company’s leaders need this information to make reasoned decisions about whether to continue with an application and, if so, how to prosecute the application.

Examiners with Low Allowance Rates Cost You Time and Money

Your application gets assigned to a technology unit in the patent office and then ultimately to an examiner with a background in your field. The examiner will be the person you argue with.

Some examiners are easy, and some of them are hard. The TIP tool gives you analytics on your examiner. This intelligence tells you if your application was assigned to an examiner with a low allowance rate.

You cannot change examiners. But this intelligence will tell you what to expect during the prosecution of that application. You could have a lot of back and forth with an examiner with a low allowance rate. The TIP tool takes the examiner’s track record into account since more rounds of prosecution will drive up your legal fees.

For example, you might file a case that you think will be quite simple. But suppose the TIP tool discovers that your examiner averages six rounds of argument and has a 20% allowance rate. This indicates that the  prosecution may cost 50% more than another case where the examiner has a higher allowance rate and averages fewer office actions.

This information provides your decision-makers with critical insight into the resources each application could need. This will allow them to allocate your company’s finite resources to focus on the applications that meet your company’s criteria, such as:

  • Most likely to get allowed
  • Greatest return on investment
  • Shortest prosecution

Whether your company is weighing the prospects of cutting budgets and abandoning applications or just needs to prioritize its prosecution docket, the TIP tool gives you the actionable intelligence you need.

Patent Counsel’s Record Can Predict Your Likelihood of Success

The TIP tool also looks at your patent counsel’s track record in your technology field. Most patent lawyers fall within a normal range for that technology unit. This means that most cases will not get flagged in one direction or the other and you should not be overly concerned. But sometimes the TIP tool will note that your patent counsel falls outside the normal range with an extraordinarily good or extraordinarily bad track record.

Taking Control Over Your Prosecution Strategy

It is likely that even your patent counsel lacks this information provided by the TIP tool. Using this information, you can:

  • Predict what will happen with your particular case
  • Decide how to allocate your prosecution resources
  • Change patent counsel if needed
  • Adjust the scope of the claims presented
  • Choose to request an examiner interview
  • Appeal rather than continuing prosecution with the examiner

The insights provided by the TIP tool are based on historical trends. The greatest factor that will influence your outcome will be the level of innovation in your invention. But the examiner’s track record and your patent counsel’s track record could tell you how much time and money you will invest between filing and allowance.

The predicted difficulty of your prosecution will also guide you in the decisions you make during prosecution. If you know you have an ace pitcher and a lenient umpire, you make different decisions than if you have an average pitcher and a strict umpire. You will pursue broader claims with an ace patent counsel and a lenient examiner than you will with an average patent counsel and a strict examiner.

The TIP tool gives you insight into questions like:

  • How much is it going to cost?
  • How likely am I to get a patent?
  • What is your success in this area?

The TIP tool provides breakthrough insights. And with those insights, you can make better decisions and, hopefully, get better outcomes.

To learn more about the TIP tool, you can find the product tour on the Triangle IP website. There, you can also read about ‘Case Analytics and Cost Prediction’ and ‘Patent Counsel and Examiner Analytics.’

How Can You Stay on Top of Your Patent Portfolio?

How Can You Stay on Top of Your Patent Portfolio?

One of the most common problems with a patent portfolio, even a small one, is that everyone involved has a different metric for success. As a result, decision-makers often have little insight into the overall status of the patent portfolio.

You might receive micro-status reports about where you stand in the prosecution of each case. But this does not give decision-makers the big picture about the coverage of certain ideas and inventions. Docket reports also lack key performance indicators (KPIs) for the people and processes involved in your company’s patent pipeline.

Here are some ways the TIP tool gives insight into your patent portfolio to everyone responsible for developing and obtaining patents for your company.

Personalized Dashboards For Each Role

You have many different people performing many different roles in your patent acquisition system. The people in each of these roles require different information to know how things are going with your patent portfolio.

  1. Inventors need to know about the applications for their inventions and where they fit into the portfolio.
  2. Administrators need an overall view of what is happening with the portfolio
  3. Managers must have statistics and KPIs for the cases under their management.
  4. Patent lawyers need detailed information about their docket so they can evaluate the prosecution situation.

Above all else, the people in each of these positions need KPIs that quantify their effectiveness in fulfilling their roles in the patent system. Each person involved in securing patents can access performance information for each stage of the patent pipeline from the idea phase to the prosecution phase.

The TIP tool’s personalized dashboards allow you to follow a thread from the idea to the patent application. The tool provides notification capability so that everyone involved in the portfolio can access the same information.

This accessible and transparent access to information is very different from the way things often happen. Without the TIP tool, your patent counsel often acts as the gatekeeper for this information. Your administrators get monthly docket reports. But your inventors and managers may not receive any tailored information until the patent lawyer requires their involvement.

The TIP tool gives open access to each person to find information tailored to their role. Inventors can see a list of patent applications naming them. They can also see the current status of those applications and a copy or the application as filed.

The Big Picture for Your Company’s Leaders

Additionally, your leadership needs to get their arms around the big picture. The micro status that accompanies the docket report only addresses individual matters at one instant in time.

Instead, they need a dashboard at a high level that covers the entire patent portfolio. This is where the KPIs provide some very valuable insight. 

Instead of thinking in terms of patents or inventions, company leaders often think in terms of product or service offerings. An executive might need to know which applications cover features relating to a particular mobile phone model. In the TIP tool, you can tag patent applications to tie them to specific products or features incorporated into many products.

Transparency and Accessibility Sets Everyone Free

The data provided to the people in each role will give them enough information to self-answer any questions they have. This frees up your in-house patent staff and your outside counsel to focus on the acquisition of patents rather than chasing down information.

By making this information transparent and accessible, you save time and money. Your in-house counsel does not need to field question after question from staff, inventors, and leaders. Your outside counsel does not need to receive call after call for which the lawyer must bill. Instead, your patent staff can answer these questions themselves using the information appearing on their personalized dashboards.

The dashboard interfaces give everyone the information they need in a simple and timely way. To learn more about the TIP tool and how this information gets presented, visit the Triangle IP website. There, you can view a product tour and view examples of the dashboards.