IP/ legal software service provider TerrifioTM has launched its MarkrTM system, the new online virtual patent marking tool. Markr conveniently automates repetitive tasks required for accurate virtual patent marking (“VPM”), maintains a litigation-ready audit trail, and expands public access to patent information.
Markr allows companies to accurately record and post online their patents, making potentially complicated VPM evidence creation for patent enforcement and litigation a thing of the past.
Markr delivers VPM to take advantage of the benefits of establishing timely, early constructive notice, which in turn helps improve the chances of maximizing litigation damages and pre-litigation leverage against infringers.
Markr users conveniently and contemporaneously build a database of their pending applications, published applications, and issued patents and can “link” each with associated products. Once a database foundation is initially completed, users download a fully populated VPM Notice Page (including an editable caveat) that is easily posted to a dedicated VPM URL (“VPM link”) on their website. Users finalise the VPM requirements by adding the VPM link to online product information and labels on the associated products, this can be achieved as a real-time running change with virtually no expense. Updates to the VPM Notice Page to reflect changes in the user’s patent portfolio and associated products can be done as new patent applications are filed or on a periodic schedule.
Jim Gastle co-founder of Markr comments: “VPM can be a valuable addition to any patent attorney’s offering. But we also expect that it will get picked up by insightful SMEs and high-tech businesses as an effective way to establish and maintain credible VPM Notice protocols. With a chance to participate in our early access programme, it’s a great way to test the potential of virtual patent marking for a business at no cost. Once an active VPM programme foundation is established the companies have the security of knowing that potential infringers have clear and up to date constructive notice.”
Explaining the vision behind Markr, Gastle, who has 25 years’ experience as a Registered Patent Agent in Canada, and working closely with U.S. patent attorneys, was surprised that while some of the top global proprietary product brand firms had a VPM page, the vast majority do not. “Without a VPM program, companies may be eroding considerable value and leverage in damages provided by an early constructive notice date. Without such notice, these businesses may be self-limiting the potential damages to the time period starting from the date of sending an actual notice letter, rather than potentially capitalizing on up to a full six-year period preceding the filing of a complaint, potentially leading to a significant loss in money damages. These losses can be surprising since, in 2020 alone, US courts awarded $4.67 billion in damages. This can have a dramatic effect on settlement leverage, as well.”
Virtual patent marking offers many benefits over traditional patent marking, the most obvious benefit being saving considerable time and expense as the patent owner no longer needs to individually manage the minutia of placing specific patent information on a specific version of products and/or packaging. Also, the patent owner does not go to the expense of updating this as and when required. Instead, it simply can be updated via its online VPM link on demand.
Markr can be used as a standalone platform and, following the initial free early access period, the pricing for Markr will be linked to various usage packages similar to other SaaS pricing models.
“I’m surprised by the proportion of patent owners that appear not to use virtual patent marking, even those that use traditional physical marking,” comments Grant Peters, partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP. “Some lack of use may be due to unfamiliarity with the process and the perceived effort required to establish a baseline. Some of the lack of use may be due to the absence of an easy-to-use software tool to help automate the process. I believe there is value in virtual patent marking but unlocking it requires early, proper, traceable patent marking. Markr presents a compelling proposition to efficiently build a marking baseline, maintain traceable records, and update the information in real time.”