Argyle Journal: A Conversation with Tyron Stading

Tyron Stading, President and Founder, Innography addressed current issues regarding the litigation of intellectual property and the value of IP-based business intelligence.

JASON REDLUS: Can you tell us about Innography, what your organization does, your role within it and then a bit of your background?

TYRON STADING: Innography is an intellectual property business intelligence company and online software service. Our products allow companies to take advantage of licensing opportunities, litigation defense and strategic growth initiatives around open innovation. We take very large amounts of diverse data, cleanse it and then deliver it to businesses as format-specific intellectual property that helps people make decisions about risk, monetization and strategy.

I’m the president and founder of Innography. I’ve always been passionate about entrepreneurship. This is the third company I’ve started, and I’ve been through a number of startups in Silicon Valley as well. Patents fascinate me, specifically when viewed as a business profit center. It’s an area of interest for any business because it impacts such a wide range of issues, but it’s a challenge from a tech startup or business perspective to see how it reflects growth opportunities and new areas for protection.

My interest in that area began while I was working at IBM in Austin, Texas. In 2005, they had a new product initiative involving a $1.5 billion product launch, and a key directive for that was to figure out how patents matched their products. It was a simple but critical question, and six months and countless resources later, they still couldn’t answer it. In my mind, that proved that there was a real need to merge technology, business and legal perspectives in order to manage patents like a business. And that’s what Innography does: it merges your capital business and legal perspectives with your intellectual property decisions.

How do you do that?

We take information from worldwide patent offices–including over a hundred million patents worldwide–and then correlate that information with more than 50 other data sources. A lot of the decisions made are really contextual decisions, and while the information is often already available, it is not connected. So we connect those dots and provide company data, litigation data, financial data, market data, and product data in an organized fashion so that valuable insights can be uncovered. We merge that together into a simple interface and visualize it with sub-second response time, which allows you to automate processes. We’ve also designed specialized workflows to help companies with invention disclosures and freedom-to-operate analysis. We help to identify licensing opportunities and perform acquisition due diligence. And we offer professional services to aid in education and strategic thinking around using intellectual property assets.

How much of the business is data and information versus software application?

Patents have been part of the business world for hundreds of years, but in the last five or 10 years there has been a huge shift in the way people use patents and the information associated with them. In a lot of cases now, the data is publically available from free sources. The challenge lies in applying that information. There is a big difference between information being publically available and publically known. So while we are an information source, it is the application of the data, its correlation and subsequent analysis that is much more meaningful to a company. Innography’s real value comes from the software that compiles the disconnected information and data to help companies take advantage of the opportunities that free sources of information offer.

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