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Frequently Asked Questions

    • What is BluePatent?

      BluePatent is a project of Patent Law Firm Stuetz. Beside the standard services we want to strenghthen the network idea in the field of intellectual property. We mediate the stream of business critical knowledge between companies and experts to ensure that crucial information is available where it is needed when it is needed.

      How does BluePatent work?

      Clients comission BluePatent to perform research regarding patents or inventions/technologies. The research projects are carefully prepared and published on the BluePatent platform. The researchers registered in our global expert network start seeking through an enourmous variety of sources. Those who deliver the sought after information are rewarded with the announced amounts.

      Crowdsourcing? What is that?

      According to Wikipedia, Crowdsourcing is a process that involves outsourcing tasks to a distributed group of people. BluePatent uses this principle to perform comprehensive research in the sector of patents and technology.

      What is the difference between BlueSearch and BlueAsset?

       
      • BlueSearch is the success-oriented standard for prior art search through our global expert community.
      • BlueAsset provides patent and technology valuation by crowdsourcing.

       

      Find detailed information in the FAQ regarding BlueSearch and the FAQ regarding BlueAsset, respectively.

      What is patent quality?

      The quality of the Intellectual Property Rights in circulation is the key to a functioning patent system. For an invention to be patented, according to patent law, it must be new and inventive. All too often, however, patents are awarded for technologies that do not fulfil these criteria. This clutters the patent system and twists its original purpose. Instead of promoting innovation and fostering technological advances, patents nowadays are more frequently reported to be used to threaten companies into entering questionable license agreements and block innovative companies by increasing the risk of research and development investments.

      What view does BluePatent take regarding the patent system?

      We are supporters of a transparent and efficient patent system and strive to sustain its  - originally intended - ability to foster innovation and technological progress. For this purpose, the highest possible standards regarding patent quality are necessary. BluePatent's contribution to this imperative is help in weeding out weak and legally unsustainable patents.

    • What advantages does BluePatent offer its clients?

      By taking advantage of the collective expertise of our global network of experts, BluePatent enables clients to make use of critical documents which are typically not found in centrally conducted search efforts. Drawing on the global knowledge cloud, BlueSearch allows companies to access comprehensive, well-founded and diverse information.

      In particular non-patent literature is well-suited for BluePatent's crowdsourcing approach - due to the effort involved, non-patent literature finds are typically underrepresented in conventional searches for prior art.

      How much does a research project on BluePatent cost?

      To discuss all details of your research project, please contact us via e-mail (service@bluepatent.com) or by phone (+49 (0) 3302 89 82 81 70). We will subsequently prepare an offer tailored to your needs.

      How does BluePatent guarantee confidentiality?

      Protecting the data of our clients and using discretion are an utmost priority. On demand, we sign a non-disclosure agreement with our customers. Clients are never visible to any third party, and our platform is protected by state of the art technology.

      My BluePatent research project is finished. What happens next?

      After the search request has been finished, our in-house IP experts evaluate the submissions and prepare a final report. Our clients obtain the final report together with a compilation of all submitted documents / answers.

      In which format will I recieve the results of my research project?

      The results of each BlueSearch research call and each BlueAsset valuation project will be provided in the form of a clear and comprehensive final report. Submitted documents or answers, respectively, are sorted by categories and listed in a PDF file. This document lets you te easily check every submission. Also see our exemplary final report to get an idea of how we prepare the results.

      Does BluePatent also provide legal advice?

      Please understand that we are not allowed to provide legal advice or legal counsel. Nevertheless, our experts will provide a nonbinding classification together with the final results of your research project for your orientation.

      Patent research via internet - what about data security?

      Data security and discretion using discretion are an utmost priority. BluePatent's clients are not visible to third parties at any time, and our platform is protected by state of the art technology.

    • What is a BluePatent researcher?

      A BluePatent researcher is every registered user of the BluePatent platform who contributes to our research calls.

      Who can become a BluePatent expert researcher?

      Everybody of age can become a member of the global BluePatent expert community. 

      To contribute valuable information to on-going research calls and have a good chance to earn a reward, having technical expertise in the specific field of the project helps. It is also advantageous to have access to a valuable network and specific sources as well as a knack for problem-solving and patience for a systematic research approach. Finally, know-how in market research may be of aid as well.

      I have no idea of patent law. Can I still participate?

      Yes, of course. We break down all the research calls for maximum simplicity and clarity, stripping them of patent terms and focusing on the technical questions at hand. In fact we believe that this procedure is key for technical experts who are patent laymen to be able to easily participate, so that we have a patent pending regarding this procedure.

      How can one earn money here?

      Expert researchers contribute to patent and technology research calls (projects) by uploading relevant prior art documents and carefully filling out the reference form (BlueSearch) or by providing well-founded answers to questions (BlueAsset).

      Earned rewards are credited to the expert's account balance and can be viewed in the user's account overview. You will find more the conditions regarding the earning of rewards described in more detail in the FAQ regarding BlueSearch or the FAQ regarding BlueAsset, respectively.

      How can I become an expert researcher? Is registration free?

      Simply create a user account by registering and become part of BluePatent's global expert community. Registration is free and does not automatically commit the user to further activities. After registration and login, you will be able to contribute to our BlueSearch or BlueAsset projects.

      How does the pay-out of rewards work?

      Successful researchers ideally receive their payments by PayPal. The necessary information for this process needs to be entered in the expert's profile beforehand (typically the registered e-mail adress with PayPal). BluePatent contributes to covering the costs for PayPal transfers.

      Alternative pay-out methods, e.g. by national or international bank transfer, are available as well. Again the respective account data needs to be entered in the expert's profile for BluePatent to be able to process payments. Please note that costs incurred by payment methods other than PayPal will be fully at the expense of the recipient and absorbed by the reward pay-out.

      Please note: It may take up to 30 days for your pay-out request to be processed.

      What is the concept of activity points?

      Apart from cash rewards, expert researchers earn activity points for specific tasks and achievements on the BluePatent platform. Activity points are used for the following distinctions:

      • A constantly updated TOP 10 list identifies the 10 researchers with the most earned activity points. Through this status the researchers qualify for a variety of directly remunerated tasks like e.g. additional (closed) research tasks, the (pre-) evaluation of other expert researchers' submissions or (pre-) checking other experts' references given when answering BlueAsset questions.
      • Once a year we take stock and draw one lucky winner out of the 30 researchers with the most activity points in the yearly average. The winning researcher will receive a price. Further details will be anounced in brief.
      • Additional benefits are in the making for particularly active and successful researchers. As soon as we decide on them, you will find the corresponding updates here and through our newsletter.

      How do I obtain activity points?

      You will find details regarding the amount of activity points awarded for particular activities here.

      I have won a reward but cannot request a pay-out - what is going on?

      To be able to request a pay-out of earned rewards, your account balance has to be at a minimum of 20 Euro. Whenever you have an account balance of 20 or more Euro, a 'Request pay-out' button will be visible in your account overview page.

      Please understand that the processing of lower amounts would involve disproportinately high administrative efforts.

      How to find fitting research calls?

      Start by chosing whether you would like to contribute to BlueSearch prior art research OR BlueAsset patent and technology valuation projects and select the corresponding projects overview page. On the overview page, you can filter projects by technology categories and sort them by expiry date. Click on a project to view the details and start the research process.

      Will I be alerted when new research calls go online?

      Expert researchers regularly receive a newsletter where we present the latest research calls and projects. Please make sure to activate the corresponding check-box during registeration or later in your profile.

      How can I unsubscribe from the BluePatent newsletter?

      To unsubscribe, simply click on the unsubscribe link in the footer of any BluePatent newsletter you received. Please contact us should anything not work as expected. Upon your request we will promptly remove you from the mailing list.

      Who do I contact regarding my account, my submissions or rewards payments?

      Please use the contact form - we try to process your request as promptly as possible.

      Can I get featured on the BluePatent website?

      We are looking forward to getting to know our expert researchers better and introduce them on our platform. Simply contact us to start the process to get featured.

      How can I delete my BluePatent user account?

      To delete your user account, please log in and write us a short message stating your request. Hereupon the BluePatent team will initiate the deletion of your account.

    • What is BlueSearch?

      Accessing the combined knowledge of a global expert community, BlueSearch is a highly innovative and success-oriented search for prior art. Typically this kind of research revolves around (in-)validating patents.

      How does BlueSearch work?

      • Clients commission BluePatent with BlueSearch prior art research projects.
      • BluePatent prepares and publishes research calls, presenting the essential technical necessities to the network.
      • Experts of our global community search for relevant prior art documents and submit them via our platform, using our BluePrint form to reference and evaluate their finds.
      • BluePatent delivers the researched documents to the client together with a concise final report.
      • Contributors of the best submissions are rewarded in cash.

      Why is a Search for Prior Art conducted?

      Companies ususally conduct searches for prior art to (in-)validate intellectual property rights of competitors. During patent opposition proceedings documents are sought that show the technology in question as part of the prior art at the time of patent application. Documents proving a patented technology lacks novelty are crucial in litigation, decisive in invalidating the patent.
      Patent examiners in patent offices also conduct prior art research in the course of patent filings.

      What is Prior Art?

      • Prior art in patent law represents any (technical) information that has been made available to the public through written or oral descriptions, through use or in any other way.
      • Even if a formerly published invention has been forgotten and only appeared once in a newspaper clipping of a local newspaper in Mongolia, it is still part of the prior art.
      • An invention is patentable only if it goes beyond prior art at the time of the patent application.
      • In addition, an invention must fulfil the conditions on inventiveness to be patentable.

      Attacking patents - an honorable endeavour?

      Patents are great: they allow innovative enterprises and inventors a limited time market monopoly for their products by providing an effective protection from imitation. The patent system is in place in order to reward state of the art ideas and R&D accomplishments, serving the greater good of technological progress.
      Recently however, more and more patents are being wrongly issued, the technology in question being neither new nor inventive. Stemming from an attitude oblivious or even opposed to the greater good of technology advancement, this development is technically based on the fact that vital knowledge is increasingly distributed in a global and decentralized manner. The standardized processes patent officials go through before issuing a patent do not take this into account, resulting in patent examinations that often do not consider all relevant sources and ultimately in an increasing number of wrongly issued patents.     
      In theory, older and less accessible documents, including dusty dissertations in Ukrainian libraries, Taiwanese professional journals as well as product catalogues of competing companies, should also be checked before a patent is granted. However, patent examiners in patent offices lack human resources as well as the technological means to be able to consider these sources in its entirety.
      The resulting, wrongly granted patents undermine the positive intention of the patent system. They seriously impede the freedom-to-operate of many technology-oriented companies, which in turn are vitally interested in information to help them 'disable' illegitimately limiting patents. By providing access to globally distributed knowledge, BluePatent helps those companies and at the same time helps improve the quality of existing patents and intellectual property rights.    

    • How does my company benefit from BlueSearch?

      Whenever your company's freedom to operate is restricted through opposing patents you can have the validity of those patents verified, checking for invalidity evidence such as novelty destroying prior art. BlueSearch is focused on delivering this evidence, critically enhancing success-rates by tapping into the know-how of our global expert network.

      What is the cost for a BlueSearch project?

      For details on the conditions of a BlueSearch research project, please contact us through our contact form, by e-mail (service@bluepatent.com) or by telephone (+49 (0) 3302 89 82 81 70). We will gladly prepare an offer tailored to your needs. 

      How does BluePatent prepare a research call? Can I influence this?

      The features of the patent in question are the basis for our online feature analysis form. This BluePrint includes descriptive and illustrative graphical material, lists known documents and gives detailed information on the conditions for experts contributing to the case. Close coordination with the client is naturally part of this process.

      Who takes care of rewards?

      BluePatent.
      We handle any communication with experts as well as decisions on and pay-outs of rewards. For clients there is no aministration effort regarding the operation of BluePatent's global expert network.

    • I have found a relevant prior art document. How do I submit it correctly?

      Navigate to the corresponding search request, click on the 'Submission' tab and upload the document. Then you will need to fill out the BluePrint form directly below, where specific information on the features we are looking for is to be given. Please tell us how exactly the features are disclosed in your document and reference each feature as exactly as possible, including the page, paragraph and / or line of occurence for each sought feature seperately. This procedure concludes the submission process.

      Please make sure that your submitted document does not coincide with already known documents which are listed in the 'Research tips' and / or 'Conditions' sections of the search request.

      Following are some general tips on how to successfully process & submit documents, which will have the best chances to win a reward, assuming they are relevant:

      1. Submit documents preferrably in PDF format. Ideally, use an advanced PDF reader tool to edit the document before submitting. The PDF-XChange-Viewer (http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer ) is free and offers powerful editing functionality.

      2. OCR your document prior to submitting, so that text becomes searchable. The OCR function of the XChange-Viewer comes in handy for this task: 

      OCR Funktion in XChange Viewer benutzen

      3. Also, you can highlight relevant passages and give additional comments (e.g. to explain apparent differences to required features):

      Text hervorheben in PDF XChange Viewer

       

      4. Finally you can help us find your referenced passages faster by highlighting them with the XChange viewer rectangle tool:

      Rechteck markieren in PDF XChange Viewer

      What is a BluePrint? Why do I have to complete it?

      The BluePrint is an online form prepared by BluePatent that enables our experts to conduct a step-by-step feature comparison between the researched document and the relevant patent specification. Experts state a precise reference within the submitted document and estimate the match with each given feature. 

      It is important to fill in the BluePrint as thoroughly as possible as this helps BluePatent's IP team to accurately evaluate the relevance of the submission. The quality of a submission is determined by the relevance of the submitted document as well as the accuracy and completeness of the statements in the corresponding BluePrint.

      How are basic rewards divided among researchers?

      Basic rewards are distributed even if a research case does not close with a successful solution. In that case, the contributors of the best five submissions will be rewarded with 100,- € each. In case a contributor has more than one submission in the TOP five, he wil be rewarded with multiple basic rewards. 

      Basic rewards will be absorbed by success rewards when a case is successfully concluded.

      Please note that due to client confidentiality BluePatent typically cannot publicly announce the successful conclusion of research calls. We will publish information on the results of a research call whenever the client permits this however.

      How are success rewards divided among contributors?

      Submitted documents are classified by the BluePatent evaluation team into categories A, B, C and D. Category A signifies the most relevant and Category D the least significant submissions. After client confirmation respectively adjustment, the rewards are paid-out according to the confirmed quality category of the submission and the amount of submission in the respective categories.

      In case only one submission is rewarded, the contributor of this submission obtains the complete reward. A category A submission will earn 100 percent of the posted reward. Category B submissions will be rewarded according to their usefulness for the client - typically between 50 and 75 percent of the posted reward.

      In case more than one submission is part of the successful solution of a research case, the reward will be divided among all contributors to the solution, the ratio depending on the quality category of the contributions.

      I have submitted a document but have not received any feedback yet. What is going on?

      Sometimes we get a lot of submissions in a very short period of time which will lengthen the time for processing. However, we strive to give you feedback on your contributions as promptly as possible. A final evaluation takes place after the submission period ends and we coordinate the results with our client. This typically takes up to eight weeks. 

    • How does BlueAsset work?

      Together with BluePatent, clients phrase questions regarding a patent or a technology. The expert researchers of the BluePatent community deliver well-founded answers. A research project typically consists of several questions. Each question has a quota of accepted answers. Each submitted answer includes a reference and will be subsequently checked by BluePatent. Researchers earn rewards for approved answers. BluePatent prepares a report together with the answer portfolio for the client.

      What is BlueAsset?

      BlueAsset introduces BluePatent's expert network to patent and technology valuation. The access to high-quality, neutral, on the ground business intelligence is a crucial benefit for companies seeking to make informed decisions with far-reaching consequences.

      How is BlueAsset different from conventional patent valuation?

      BlueAsset provides access to the cumulative knowledge of a global expert community. BluePatent's researchers have backgrounds in a host of different areas of expertise, speak different languages and know the circumstances of respective local markets. In addition, BlueAsset enables clients to obtain several opinions from different neutral sources to every question - contrasting different perspectives immensly helps to objectify information which is crucial for far-reaching business decisions.

      What kind of information is researched for patent valuation?

      Typical questions relate to market volume, possible market entry barriers, potential licencees and sales partners regarding the patented invention. Patent landscaping of a technology also constitutes a typical area of interest.

    • What kind of information can I obtain with BlueAsset?

      BlueAsset gives you access to a global expert network to undergird your patent and technology valuation with well-founded information.

      You can define several questions per project as well as the amount of answers necessary to get valid and reliable information. Typical questions relate to market volume, possible market entry barriers(for example laws, norms and competitor's IPRs), potential licencees, sales partners or even workarounds regarding the patented invention or technology in question. Along their answers, researchers provide references or other proof that will be checked by our QA team for relevancy and accuracy.

      What is the cost for a BlueAsset project?

      We will gladly prepare an offer tailored to your needs, please contact us through our contact form, by e-mail (service@bluepatent.com) or by telephone (+49 (0) 3302 89 82 81 70). 

      Who takes care of the experts' rewards?

      BluePatent.
      We handle any communication with experts as well as decisions on and pay-outs of rewards. For clients there is no aministration effort regarding the operation of BluePatent's global expert network.

      Is this all about patents, or can I use BlueAsset for other problems as well?

      BlueAsset's primary target is to contribute to the econmically sound and accurate valuation of a patent, a patent portfolio (resp. cluster) or an invention. However, clients naturally can pose other kinds of questions, for example regarding the usefulness of a product or sales partners in designated areas worldwide.

    • How much money can I earn per project? When will I be paid?

      Each accepted answer earns you the amount posted next to the question. Rewards will be credited to your internal BluePatent account balance. You will be able to initiate a pay-out when the balance reaches an amount of at least 20,- €.

      There are many questions in BlueAsset projects - do I have to answer all of them?

      No. Please only answer those where you have veryfiable information. You can answer one or more questions of any BlueAsset project, but each question only once. Once the quota for a question has been reached, no further answers are possible unless we reject some pending answers.

      My answer has been rejected. Why?

      We reject answers for several reasons:

      • Your answer is not sufficiently relevant
      • You did not provide a corresponding reference to your answer, for example if we are looking for Japanese market volume for a product based on an invention, you only provided a source link to a table showing global market volume.
      • The data in your answer and in the reference provided do not match
      • The question you answered had already been answered earlier by another researcher providing the same reference

      In such a case, you can resubmit the answer as long as the quota for the question has not been reached.

      What happens when two researchers submit the same answer?

      Typically our clients are looking for diverse informtion and sources regarding their questions. When we receive the same answer to a question twice, we will reject the one that has been submitted at a later point in time. We will accept answers that are similar as long as there is valuable new insight in each new answer given.

      Please work on your answer carefully as every researcher is only allowed to enter one answer per question asked.

      When will my answer to a question be evaluated?

      We evaluate answers as promptly as possible. Please bear in mind that whenever there have been many submissions in a short period of time, the feedback to your answer may take longer than usual. Also the time difference between your and BluePatent's location can have an impact on the reaction times of our evaluation team.