From Idea to Issuance, Anaqua and the Inventor's Experience

Transcription

When it comes to our patent management teams, we're about 15 to 20 people accessing the system on a daily basis. For a routine, that is their job, but when it comes to inventors submitting ideas, we have over 5,000 inventors that have access to the system.

In making the choice of which system to go with, basically selected Anaqua because of its front end to the inventor community. The invention module in particular was compelling to us and allowed us to have access potentially to the 40,000 employees that we had. We would use that as a means to capture all their inventions and make it a requirement to submit inventions through Anaqua. On the other end of it, reporting, it had better reporting capability than any other platform.

With Anaqua, we have seen an increase in the number of invention disclosures, and our goal is to improve the quality of our patent applications by having more invention disclosures at a greater level of detail. Instead of the cocktail napkin coming in, they know they go into the system, fill out the form, and they have to answer the mandatory questions. That leads them to produce a higher quality invention disclosure form and allows us to conduct our internal reviews of those forms and eventually result in higher quality and more patents overall.

I think it's allowed us to capture the innovation that was already taking place, because we've provided to our inventors a system that's user-friendly. They understand the next steps in the process, they're able to track those, and instead the old process of submitting on paper and emailing it over, hopefully somebody looks at it, and not really understanding where it goes next is avoided by using the Anaqua environment. They are more open to submitting all of their ideas, where before it was really only once their manager pressed or they were reminded. They have the Anaqua access right there, 24 hours a day, and we do get invention disclosures sometimes at odd hours, but that's what we love to see.

With respect to the inventor experience, Anaqua's improved that quite dramatically. When I first joined Nielsen, inventors were actually being informed about the issuance of a patent before the IP team could. They were getting solicitations from patent plaque companies and so forth, which is fairly embarrassing. We continued to feel a bit behind the ball, because that's the very least that we could do, is let them know when a patent grants. That's the most important thing.

With respect to the inventor experience, Anaqua's improved that quite dramatically. When I first joined Nielsen, inventors were actually being informed about the issuance of a patent before the IP team could. They were getting solicitations from patent plaque companies and so forth, which is fairly embarrassing. We continued to feel a bit behind the ball, because that's the very least that we could do, is let them know when a patent grants. That's the most important thing.

What it's also done is it's allowed our decision making to be more transparent, which has resonated with the inventors and allowed them to feel comfortable in our decisions that they're not being taken lightly. Our review committees completely understand the inventions, and we even interact within the Anaqua platform to communicate between the decision makers and the inventors to ask for more information, to get more feedback as part of the review process. They are more willing to submit invention disclosures when there is that transparency.

They also have access, should they choose, to go in and check out their own stuff through the Anaqua interface. That got us ahead of the ball. In addition to that, our inventors are recognized through our Inventors at Nielsen Patent Recognition and Reward Program. That's all supported by the data that resides in Anaqua. The system provides us everything we need that on a quarterly basis, we keep all inventors informed. We keep our management informed, their managers, about how their teams are doing. That keeps everybody engaged.