VMarked Blog

Virtual Patent Marking

Introducing our new Enterprise virtual patent marking account

We’re excited to announce that we have launched a brand new Enterprise account.

Are you a patent attorney or agent who needs to manage virtual patent marking programs for multiple clients?

Or are you a patent executive who needs to manage virtual patent marking programs for multiple businesses or business segments?

If so, the new Enterprise account is for you.

The Enterprise account includes new features you won’t find anywhere else. The Enterprise account provides you with easy access to information you need for managing multiple virtual patent marking programs.

The Enterprise account offers tremendous flexibility. Make sure your clients are keeping their patent marking program up to date by providing them with a complete management service. Or, provide them with a premier virtual patent marking system that they can manage on their own, or in concert with you.

Why should your clients be outsourcing their virtual patent marking program?

Several early-adopters have established in-house virtual patent marking programs that generally involve the use of a single static webpage that lists patents and corresponding patented products. However, VMarked can provide such organizations with an improved implementation and cost-reductions:

  • No web server and database to maintain – by outsourcing to VMarked, an organization can pay a fixed annual subscription fee that is significantly less than the personnel and hardware costs involved in maintaining a web server in-house.
  • Access to a Fully-Redundant Web Platform – VMarked’s web service is set up on a fully-redundant system that provides “substantially continuous and consistent” virtual marking.
  • Third-party certification – when the time comes to enforce a patent, damages may be measured based on the marking dates that the patent holder can establish. Dates logged and certified by an independent third party are more convincing than dates provided from an in-house program.
  • Scalable assistance as patent filings and issuances fluctuate – the ebb and flow of patent filings and issuances can make it challenging to optimize staffing for patent-related tasks. VMarked provides affordable and scalable patent marking management services that make it more sensible to outsource these functions.

Have questions about VMarked’s new Enterprise account? Contact us via our contact page at http://vmarked.com/contact or by telephone at (413) 367-8675.

Virtual Patent Marking FAQs: How should I mark my product?

VMarked offers customers a wide variety of options for marking their products. The following FAQs address some of the common questions VMarked customers have about how to mark their products.

What does my virtual patent mark need to include?

A virtual patent mark must include the word “patent” or the abbreviation “pat.” and an internet address on the product. We also recommend including a clear indication of the product name, model number, or other unique identifier that will associate the marked product with its patent information on the website.

Do I link to the VMarked search page or directly to a list of patents?

Both options are available. Some customers prefer to link to the search page for convenience purposes; for example, this option allows you to mark all patented products with the same URL (vmarked.com) instead of creating unique marks for each product. On the other hand, some customers prefer to link directly to a patent list for each product.

Here is an example of a virtual  link to the Search Page for a fictional product having model number “abc123”:

Patent: www.vmarked.com Model No. abc123

Here is an example of a virtual  link to the Results Page for the same fictional product having model number “abc123”:

Patent: www.vmarked.com/search?q=abc123

Are there other VMarked URLs that we can use?

Yes, you can mark your product with any of the following urls:

vmarked.com
vmarked.co.uk
vmarked.info
vmarked.me
vmarked.net
vmarked.org
vmarked.us

Can I use my own URL?

Yes, if you have a domain name that you already own and you would like to mark that domain name on your products, you can do so. The process involves setting up a redirect page that will redirect visitors to the Search Page or Results Page as discussed above. Please contact us if you would like more assistance with this option.

Can I use a custom subdomain, such as “mycompany.vmarked.com”?

Yes, this option is available as a premium service. Please contact us for more details and to get it set up.

Still have questions?

Contact us via our contact page at vmarked.com/contact or by phone at (413)367-8675.

 

QR Codes: Scannable Virtual Patent Marking

As matrix barcodes (e.g., QR codes) have become somewhat prevalent, the question arises as to whether QR codes can be used to satisfy the virtual patent marking requirements.

The statutory basis for virtual patent marking is 35 U.S.C. § 287(a), which includes that notice may be given by “by fixing thereon the word ‘patent’ or the abbreviation ‘pat.’ together with an address of a posting on the Internet.”

The question is, what is meant by “an address”? Or, stated another way, can “an address” be in the form of a matrix barcode, such as the QR code?

This language was added in 2011 by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. It doesn’t appear that this language has been addressed by the courts.

While a QR code is “an address,” it is in a machine-readable rather than human-readable form. Since it is likely that “an address” would be construed as meaning something that is human-readable, best practice should continue to be the use of a human-readable address (i.e., a textual URL). 

However, there is the option of appending your text with a matrix barcode or QR code. This gives you the convenience of having a scannable mark, while avoiding problems later if the QR code alone is found to be outside the scope of the marking statute.

Below is a working example that VMarked customers can use. When you scan the QR code below, it will take you directly to the www.vmarked.com homepage.

Be sure to add your product’s number or other term so that it’s patents can be found from the VMarked home page. For example, near the image you could add something like “Search: R2D2” if the model number of the product was “R2D2.”

Patent: VMarked.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VMarked Update: New features for our virtual patent marking customers!

Virtual patent marking with VMarked is now better than ever with some great new features now available on your VMarked account!

patent license available icon

License-Availability Indicator (patent pending)

Looking for an innovative way to generate licensing revenue from your patent portfolio?

Consider this: Chances are, anyone who looks up the patent information for your product is likely looking to see if there is a patent that they should be concerned about because they are considering making or selling a similar product. If you are open to licensing your patent, then these people are your best potential licensees. Why not take the opportunity to let this captive audience know that a license is available?

With VMarked, now you can do just that.

VMarked is excited to introduce the industry’s first and only virtual patent marking system that allows its customers to generate patent licensing revenue by identifying patents as “licensable.” When you designate a patent as being “licensable,” a clickable icon will appear next to the patent number each time that patent appears in search results. When the icon is clicked, the system provides the user with information you provide – who to contact, how to contact them, even standard licensing terms.

So now, with VMarked, you can not only put the public on notice when you have a product that’s patented – you can improve your bottom line by attracting patent licensing opportunities that you may have otherwise missed.

Instant Access to your Activity Log user activity log menu item

All of the activity on your VMarked account is constantly logged for future reference if ever needed – each time you add, edit, or delete a patent, product, or mark. Now this information is readily available to you on your VMarked portfolio management page. The portfolio management menu now has a new link – “User Activity Log.” When you click this link, the system will display a table that displays all of your activity information.

 

Virtual Patent Marking at vMarked: Sneak Preview!

We are excited to finally be able to give you a sneak preview of our account management section of vMarked.com! Virtual patent marking is easy with the vMarked virtual patent marking service. As you will see in the video below, the account management system has been designed to be simple, yet powerful, with a clean look that’s free of clutter. The system is designed for the busy professional looking to get on, get something done, and move on. The tutorial video below walks through the major functionality of the vMarked system. But, as you would expect from us, there are plenty of new additional features we are working on and will be rolling out in the coming weeks.

Please note that this is a sneak preview, so the Sign Up link is not set up yet for new accounts. But we are in the final stages for this update, and expect the system to be accepting new accounts by April 15.

Virtual Patent Marking Website at VMarked.com almost ready for launch!

If you visited our virtual patent marking service website over at www.vmarked.com today, you may have noticed that our “coming soon” page has finally been replaced!
vMarked.com
Our Virtual Patent Marking Service has finally arrived!

Yes, the live site is finally up and almost ready for launch! It’s been alot of work to get the website ready to go, and we hope that you will find that it was worth the effort! We are patent practitioners ourselves, and we have been designing this web service to be something we would (and will!) use. We wanted to make sure that we were providing a quality service before we introduced it to the world. There are still a few minor wrinkles to iron out, and tons of features we plan to add in the future. As for now, we think vMarked.com will provide the best, most easy to use virtual patent marking service anywhere. We think you will to, and we welcome your feedback and suggestions.

If you would like to test the search page at vmarked.com, try searching for R2D2 to see some fictional patent results.

Wait, why is there a search page on vMarked.com?

As a vMarked.com customer, one of the options available to you is to simply mark your patented products with a product number and vMarked.com in place of your list of patent numbers. Then anyone looking for your product’s patent information can visit vMarked.com, type in your product number, and then be presented with the list of patents that you previously associated with that product number via your vMarked.com control panel.

Want to know more? If you would like to try out the vMarked virtual patent marking service, or if you have any questions, please contact us at info@vmarked.com.

Virtual Patent Marking: Why it could make your life easier

Virtual patent marking is a new option for notifying the public about patents that cover your products. Until recently, patent marking meant actually listing your patents on the products themselves or, where that wasn’t practical, listing your patents on a label attached to the product or product packaging. But virtual patent marking offers a new, more convenient option.

Traditional patent marking is inconvenient and problematic

virtual patent marking could make life easier

For most companies, the product cycle and patent cycle are out of sync.

For example, a product may hit the shelves while a patent is still pending. So artwork for the product packaging is prepared with a “patent pending” label. Then, after some months or perhaps even years, a patent issues. At that moment, the company has inventory in stores, warehouses, in transit, and elsewhere that is now incorrectly marked. So a rolling change begins for updating product artwork, but some time will pass before the product’s new patent markings begin to replace the old ones.

This process is not only an inconvenience, but it includes an unwanted delay in providing notice of new patents.

Virtual patent marking solves these problems

With virtual patent marking, you can mark your products with the word “patent” or simply “pat.” together with an address of a website that associates your product with any applicable patents.

Since a virtual patent mark is on a website instead of product, only the website needs to be updated as patent statuses change (e.g., pending to issued to expired). This unhinges your patent cycle from your product cycle. Your patent marking management processes can be simplified because product artwork no longer needs to be updated as patent statuses change.

If you would like more information regarding virtual patent marking, we recommend that you consult a licensed legal professional.

When you are ready to begin transitioning to virtual patent marking, we hope that you will consider using vMarked.com’s virtual patent marking service.