Last fall, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”) unveiled its Data Visualization Center, which is a real-time reporting tool showing the USPTO’s performance in examining patent applications.

The Patent Dashboard feature shows several metrics for pending patent applications. The USPTO currently issues its first substantive action on the average new patent application 25.3 months after the filing date, and is currently issuing patents a little less than 3 years after the filing date.

Over the last several months, the USPTO has added staff and made a concerted effort to reduce the application backlog. The result has been a reduction in the total pendency time for new applications.

These figures are great for people (especially new clients) who are thinking about filing a new patent application. Once an application is filed, the USPTO will provide an estimate of time to the first office action for that particular application. Clients who want to know this information can call and ask for this estimate, which we can retrieve quickly through the USPTO’s Private PAIR system.

I recently completed the beta of a web-based political software solution that permits politicians, campaign managers, and volunteers to deploy campaign assets and report contacts with constituents using real-time, door-to-door visualization software. Here’s a screenshot (click to enlarge):

The user can move the map around and change the criteria in real-time, and pins and statistics show information about registered voters meeting those criteria within the map. This allows the user to explore potential voter contacts (whether by mail, door-to-door, telephone, or otherwise) in areas of arbitrary size based upon user-defined voter metrics.

The Intelection software is the result of several years’ worth of planning and thought on how to make the use of geolocation data easy and effective. It began with the creation of a map to disprove a defense theory of a failure to penetrate product markets in specific states during a federal trademark infringement case. The map was created by placing a pin on each town appearing in the cellular telephone records of the perpetrator of a bait-and-switch scheme. A screenshot showed that the defendant had penetrated nearly the entire country, particularly the southeast (click to enlarge):

Later, the same tools I developed in the trademark case were adapted to assist in a Court of Appeals race for the wife of my then-boss. This version was a proof-of-concept design that married voter profile data with geolocation information. At that stage, the purpose of the mapping feature was primarily to identify geographic areas with the greatest density of registered voters meeting criteria specified by the campaign manager. For instance, the map below shows the 35 or so areas of highest population density in Benton County, Arkansas (click to enlarge):

The problem with this solution was that every time the campaign wanted to change the metrics that defined which voters were counted in the density plot, I had to manually write a new query, execute scripts, collate the information, and report the results. Not the most efficient way to spend this attorney’s time, but I didn’t have time to put together a slick interface.

Once I could sit down with the knowledge I had acquired without the urgency of a campaign, I decided to put together an interface that would take my involvement out of the equation. Intelection is blossoming into the result of that effort.

I am currently looking to commercialize Intelection, whether via political software vendors willing to consider integrating Intelection into their own platforms via license or IP purchase (Intelection is patent pending), or by consulting with lawyers, businessmen, or other people who require robust yet easy-to-use geographic analysis tools. Please let me know if you would like more information.