Saturday, August 06, 2011

Google acquires my previous company, the Dealmap (formerly Fatdoor)

I'm happy to announce that Google purchased my previous company the Dealmap (a DBA of Center'd, Inc., renamed from Fatdoor, Inc.) this week.   Coincidentally, the announcement was publicly made on my 36th birthday, August 1, 2011. The Dealmap's parent company, Center'd, Inc. was started inside of my law firm Raj Abhyanker P.C. back in 2005 on a piece of paper approximately 6 years ago.   I was the co-founder, and CEO through the first two rounds of funding for the company.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nice message from LinkedIn

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Reid Hoffman at LinkedIn 
Date: Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 10:04 AMR
Subject: Raj, thank you for being among LinkedIn's first 100,000 members!

100M members

Dear Raj,

I want to personally thank you because you were one of LinkedIn's first 100,000 members (member number 84759 in fact!*). In any technology adoption lifecycle, there are the innovators, those who help lead the way. That was you.

We hit a big milestone at LinkedIn this week when our 100 millionth member joined the site.

When we founded LinkedIn, our vision was to help the world's professionals be more successful and productive. Today, with your help, LinkedIn is changing the lives of millions of members by helping them connect with others, find jobs, get insights, start a business, and much more.

We are grateful for your support and look forward to helping you accomplish much more in the years to come. I hope that you are having a great year.

Reid Hoffman Signature
Reid HoffmanReid Hoffman
Co-founder and Chairman

*Your member number is the number embedded in your LinkedIn profile URL (after "id=").

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oceantomo Patent & IP auction in New York

I attended the OceanTomo patent and intellectual property auction last week in New York (October 24-25, 2006). I want to share my insights and thoughts regarding the patent and IP auction.

First, I thought that the patent auction was very well managed and administered. The OceanTomo staff was professional, organized, and chose a fantastic location for the auction in the heart of New York City. The auction was held in a beautiful old bank building called The Capitale, now converted into a meeting place.

That being said, I have a few thoughts about the viability of the live auction format for intellectual property, and ways to strengthen the concept further.

First, there needs to be a better valuation methodology. One of the seminars was led by Jonathan Barney, a former patent attorney at Knobbe Martin Olsen & Bear, and creator of the Patent Ratings methodology used by OceanTomo. OceanTomo's methodology is based on objectively assessing and weighing various factors in the trove of issued U.S. patents which provide an indication of whether the patents will be maintained by the patent owner through payment of maintenance fees.

The theory is simple : By understanding what factors increase the likelihood that a patent will be maintained, means that it is more valuable to a company. If it is more valuable to a company, it must be more valuable. This metric is tracked through a Patent Quality ranking assessed by OceanTomo.

However, this ranking does not adequately capture the value or quality of a particular patent. The entire concepts of “value” of a patent and “quality” of a patent need better definitions. Value is a fair market value of an intellectual property asset. Quality should be defined as the skill of the attorney/drafter/author of the intellectual property asset in conformance with litigation-precedent verified best practices.

The Oceantomo approach seems to merge the concepts of “value” and “quality” in the Patent Ratings methodology. This methodology merely indicates whether on not a patent attorney or licensing executive in a corporation is likely to keep a patent alive or not. Factors such as (1) length of a specification (2) the number of independent and dependent claims (3) the number of figures (4) number of continuations increase the Patent Quality score by OceanTomo. However, these metrics have nothing to do with actual quality or value of a patent in my view.

The quality of a patent should be determined by factors such as how elements in the claims are defined in the specification, whether the application is supported in the specification, what has been the impact of prosecution history estoppel (e.g., admissions by the application), and whether best practices for patent application drafting were followed. None of these factors seem to be directly considered in the OceanTomo patent ranking. Rather, the OceanTomo patent ranking only predicts the likelihood a company will keep a patent alive or not. As such, it does not adequately measure quality of a patent.

Furthermore, value should be determined through a modified version of the market approach, income approach, or cost approach. None of these three standard valuation methodologies work well for patents because a poorly drafted patent might be still worth nothing if it will later be invalidated because of poor drafting quality.

What methodology is best? I’m writing a paper on this, I’ll publish it here by early January 2007.