Is Harry Jolly in Your Patent Research Trust Tree?
by: Luke Barbin, CEO
I'm sure most (if not) all of you are familiar with Harry Jolly, aka “maniac” or “patent maniac”. His emails hit my inbox at least twice a week with grandiose advertisements for bottom-dollar offshore patent research services. Of course, the “maniac” doesn’t recognize I founded and own an all-US-based patent research and technology firm in Austin. Also, I’m sure, because their firm is an alleged spammer, they don’t scrub their list of competitors before blasting them with pricing sheets. This alone gives me pause as to their ability to conduct reasonable diligence.
It doesn’t surprise or anger me that Harry emails me or even that he emails me as often as he does. For me, it’s a bonus in that it gives me an opportunity to stay abreast of offshore patent research prices.
However, it does surprise me that lawyers use or, perhaps more importantly, that lawyers trust services like this. Worse, I know it clogs their inbox with noise and makes valuable marketing messages from shops like ours harder to break through.
In my opinion, patent research service providers are in a trust-based business. Even if someone initially engages my company on the referral of a trusted partner, they still typically tread lightly and give us a small project to try us out. Only once they get to know us, the quality of our work product, the way we work with them to maximize outcomes and the value we add, do they start to send more and more projects and higher value and higher risk investigations. This is understandable because the market is flooded with low cost and often low quality providers (here and abroad).
We’re constantly fighting the race-to-the-bottom budget providers. We are convincing those who are fed up with status quo to find the better way we’ve built over the past three years down here in Austin.
We know we don’t just deliver consistent results, we deliver a team, a process, and a technology platform that our clients trust and that our clients value more.
There is likely a market for the Harry Jollys of the world (even though none can compete with a nome de guerre like “maniac”). However, we are proof that there is a market for value-added research groups, strategic IP advisors, and IP technologies that bring trust and relationships back to our business.
We have met most of our customers in person, we know how to collaborate with them, and we visit with them regularly, making periodic outreach to solicit feedback and improve our offerings.
If you would like to know who you are outsourcing your next patent research project to, let me know, I’d appreciate the opportunity to meet with you first.