Unified Patents and the Linux Foundation Announce Patcepta, an Open Source Rules Engine for Patent Prosecution
The Linux Foundation | 30 November 2022
Patcepta is a new open source rules engine for improving patent prosecution and management through automation. Any interested party can join to help foster a new generation of IP management practices using open source software.
Unified Patents decided to work with the Linux Foundation in making the Patcepta project open source to remove critical barriers to entry that attorneys and entrepreneurs face in managing their patent portfolio. This project is the first of its kind in that it provides an open, understandable, and auditable ruleset and toolkit for enabling more efficient and innovative processes and tools for managing IP portfolios.
“We are excited to see this fundamental capability become an open source project for collaboration and shared dependency'' said Mike Dolan, Senior Vice President of Projects at the Linux Foundation. “Jurisdiction rules and a common rules engine are shared challenges faced by in-house and outside counsel trying to manage patent portfolios - a perfect opportunity to develop collaboratively and maintain in an open source community.”
“A key barrier to entry was made very clear in the beginning around docketing rules, which just in the US are over 500, while only about 80 represent almost 80% of the ones used,” said Shawn Ambwani, Co-Founder and COO of Unified Patents. “The number of rules is one of the reasons why the market is so fragmented and why the software is mainly provided as a loss leader to lock in services contracts for paying patent annuities. Another issue IP managers face is concerns associated with bad rules or missing a deadline – now the rules data and code will be transparent and open for any IP manager to see or update. Finally, integrating such docketing software into larger processes and accounting systems makes switching costs high.
Software providers, law firms, and even some corporations develop their code and maintain it as the rules change, which can be expensive and repetitive.
After talking to The Linux Foundation (TLF) and a few members to gauge interest, we decided a potential course would be to help make the rules / code open source so anyone can build on top of it. In addition, having open source allows for collaboration and updates and, most importantly, allows everyone to see the code to get confidence that it is safe to rely upon.
Ultimately, the goal is to foster better and more innovative patent management processes by eliminating a major barrier.
Patcepta is now an official project hosted by the Linux Foundation. You can view the project here or go to www.patcepta.org. It is the first legal industry codebase, open rules data, and project ever hosted by the foundation. We hope it will not only complete publishing all the United States rules and code, but there are opportunities for the open source community to add international jurisdictions and perhaps an interface down the road.”
We hope all parties interested in making patent and IP management easier evaluate and contribute to this project and help remove docketing rules as a barrier to managing their portfolio.
An initial kickoff meeting is scheduled for early January so participants can join and help in moving this project forward or getting access to the repository. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
About Unified Patents
Unified is a 200+ international membership organization that seeks to improve patent quality and deter unsubstantiated or invalid patent assertions in defined technology sectors (Zones) through its activities. Its actions are focused broadly in Zones with substantial assertions by Standards Essential Patents (SEP) holders and/or Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs). These actions may include analytics, prior art, invalidity contests, patentability analysis, administrative patent review (PTAB), amicus briefs, economic surveys, and essentiality studies. Unified works independently of its members to achieve its deterrence goals. Small members join for free, while larger ones pay modest annual fees.
About The Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, hardware, standards, and data. Linux Foundation projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, ONAP, PyTorch, RISC-V, SPDX, OpenChain, and more. The Linux Foundation focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users, and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org. The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see its trademark usage page: www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.