Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN), provided wireless communication solutions, including voice, data, internet and video services to cruise lines, commercial vessels, luxury yachts, military vessels and oil rigs. Based in Miramar, Florida, and with its R&D group in Seattle WA, the company employed more than 200 people across various sites within the United States.
Chief Innovation Officer Bob Wise led a team of more than 25 in the advanced software development group. This group was innovating at a high rate but MTN had yet to prioritize protecting the teams’ intellectual property (IP) by pursuing patents. Plus, MTN didn’t have a dedicated IP manager and the company had little experience with the patent process.
MTN was positioning itself for an acquisition but its lack of a patent portfolio was seen as a detriment to both its attractiveness and valuation. As a result, Wise and several board members created the urgency to quickly build a patent portfolio that represented the company’s innovative technology. But with so little patent experience, and no one dedicated to managing the process, MTN didn’t know where to start.
MTN had to build an impressive patent portfolio quickly to position itself for acquisition. It knew that companies with well-protected intellectual property (patents) are 85% more likely to successfully exit, and at a 25% higher valuation. However, it needed an easy and effective way to source ideas, draft and file high-quality applications, and manage the program, all within a reasonable budget. MTN brought on TurboPatent as a trusted partner to create, manage, and accelerate its patent program.
Serving as MTN’s IP management team, TurboPatent’s Patent Engineers (PEs) initiated patent sourcing sessions with Wise and his team, generating 41 potentially patentable ideas. The PEs used their deep patent knowledge and domain expertise, along with TurboPatent’s Automated Invention Protection tools for drafting, prosecution and quality evaluation, to turn the ideas into high-quality patent applications.
TurboPatent guided each idea through the process, providing quality valuation metrics and ensuring Wise and his team remained on track to accomplish their goals. PEs also provided Wise with the advice, analysis and strong presentation material he needed to communicate the program’s progress to the executive team.
TurboPatent managed the entire process, leaving Wise and his engineering team essentially undisturbed from their day-to-day responsibilities. They could focus on innovating, instead of dealing with time-consuming, and often tedious, patent prosecution activities.
TurboPatent helped MTN grow its patent portfolio at an incredible speed – from one to 20 in less than 14 months, using the USPTOs Track One program. TurboPatent’s technology and processes resulted in 50% fewer patent office rejections and cost less than 40% of industry averages.
In July of 2015, MTN was acquired by Emerging Market Communications (EMC). The patent portfolio was scrutinized during the diligence phase of the acquisition and it provided EMC with assurances that the technology it was acquiring was protected, thus increasing MTN’s value.
“With TurboPatent, our team was able to more than double our patent filings,” Wise said. “We were able to focus on real innovation without the traditional process tedium and management challenges.”