50 Most Admired Companies of The Year 2018
The Silicon Review
“We offer an array of products for the patent information industry, specialising in patent searching, IP document retrieval, patent analytics and competitive intelligence systems.”
In today’s competitive environment, innovation is the mainstay for every business that leads to the development of intellectual property. Identifying, developing, and leveraging innovation provides a competitive edge and aids in the long-term success of the company. Intellectual property is not limited to technology companies but is valuable for every business which invests huge sums in research and development for creating indigenous products and services.
In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we are thrilled to present Minesoft Ltd – a global Patent Information solutions provider.
Winner of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2009 and again in 2015, Minesoft has fast become an established leader in the field of Patent Information, working with industrial corporations, patent attorney firms and patent authorities around the world. Established to develop databases and software solutions for the Information industry, Minesoft specialises in tools and services for retrieving, storing and distributing patent information throughout the enterprise.
The company was incorporated in 1996 and is headquartered in London, UK.
Ann Chapman-Daniel & Ophir Daniel, Minesoft Ltd Leadership, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. Why was the company set up, Mrs. Chapman-Daniel?
Minesoft was set up as a family company by a married couple to bring together expertise in international marketing and sales in the online publishing industry.
Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years, Mr. Daniel?
We began from scratch around the kitchen table with no income or funding so obviously, we faced the usual challenges of start-ups and had to develop products and services that enabled us to succeed, generate profit and thrive in the international markets. Nothing beats hard work and determination to succeed but other elements need to be present such as a definite market for your products and services – for your particular brand of skills, basically. There is no easy path; decisions you make in the early years will have a far-reaching effect.
Q. What kind of responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company, Mrs. Chapman-Daniel
Listening to the needs of our customers helps to shape our product development plans. We are very fortunate and thankful for having customers who consider us their partner and routinely provide constructive feedback which is in all parties’ best interest. Our customers are experts in the patent information field and often use Minesoft products on a day-to-day basis so who better to make informed decisions about future development than them.
As a dynamic company and as a result of our in-house development team, we are often making even small tweaks to products based on customer feedback – sometimes even on the same day.
On a larger scale, after noticing a need amongst some of our customers and the market in general – we have launched a new product, PatDocs. The product is a streamlined system for patent attorneys, IP paralegal teams and other IP professionals to support key activities in prosecution. Automated systems help to relieve the hefty workload of IP professionals, including auto-populate IDS forms and a family tree mapping functionality. This new offering allows Minesoft to offer solutions to more professionals across the entire IP lifecycle, throughout R&D, Legal and commercialization.
Q. Is your company a ‘leader or follower’, Mr. Daniel?
The industry has changed so many times over the course of the 20 years Minesoft has been in business. What once would have taken a supercomputer in the ‘90s; we have now built into the base product available to all customers for no additional fees. An example here is our newest V2 Analytics framework. This allows for advanced analytical reporting on the deepest aspects of patent data, where our competitors tend to offer more limited fields and basic excel style charts. Pulling on the 60 full-text authorities and over 105 total authorities, we can allow the analytics to enhance and empower professional searchers to become much more efficient than just a few years ago.
Another example is our legal status, we have constantly innovated and been ahead of the field. One of our strengths is that rather than use middlemen as is the tendency in our sector we have special data agreements with many national patent offices and also incorporate high-quality data directly from the EPO. This means we can provide timelier and more accurate legal status data as well as effective tools that bypass features such as the USPTO captcha. This allows legal professionals to have a direct feed to the back door of the USPTO PAIR API, which saves time and hassle. Sometimes you need more than one data feed so that you can offer the most timely information available as well as locate additional nuggets that may only be available from a particular source or that may be available at a later point in time – enriching the data is a key concern at Minesoft. The key to our success is the little things like this which allow us to lead the industry and innovation based on client feedback.
Q. What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation,
A reputation is hard to pin down. I think that our customers and our competitors understand that we are – and always have been – passionate about what we do. We try to understand their problems and look at it from their point of view when we develop the software tools manipulating our datasets. Searching through millions of patent documents can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. But then you may find too many needles and have to manage the deluge of new patented ideas in a given technology of interest to your company. That is not easy; patents are a complex area of law and science, combining the two fields together.
Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now, Mr. Daniel?
Minesoft has grown each year since we opened for business so I very much hope that trend continues. The business gets more international each year, as we find customers in new countries for our services that manufacture, innovate and develop their own products.
Leadership | Minesoft Ltd
(Co-founder/Director) and Ophir Daniel (Co-founder) spend most of their time in London. Ann studied Business, Economics & German and Ophir General Engineering at the beginning of their careers. Minesoft was founded jointly by them 21 years ago to pool their skills and previous career paths. Ophir came to the UK as a German/Israeli national with a background in electronic engineering and aviation. Ann had a successful international career in Online Publishing (International Thomson, Predicasts/Ziff Davies Corporation, Questel Orbit). They have two grown-up children, currently studying in London and New York.