Here are three intriguing quotes from a May 14, 2018 article published in Forbes titled, “How Human Detectives Catch AI Thieves,” written by Marshall Phelps:
“EoU research can uncover not only patent infringement but counterfeit knockoff products as well. A Google search may reveal the scale and cost of counterfeiting worldwide, but it can’t actually identify any of it in the marketplace. Only humans can do that.”
“AOP sleuths then launch a global investigation to analyze the products in question. They physically go to retail stores and trade shows all over the world — something no AI algorithm can do”
“The group sent its detectives into retail stores in major cities around the world to take six pictures of every box with a product claiming to have the advertised technology — one photo of each side of the box. The goal was to see if the product packaging displayed the appropriate serialized label proving it had been properly licensed.”
WHAT IS “EVIDENCE OF USE” (EoU)?
The term Evidence of Use (EoU) is generally used to describe uncovering the use of patented or trademark protected property without authorization.
WHAT IS “ARTICLE ONE PARTNERS” (AOP)?
AOP is the acronym for a company named Article One Partners (AOP) that specializes in EoU research projects.
WHO IS “ARTICLE ONE PARTNERS” (AOP)?
The Forbes article does an excellent job of presenting an overview of AOP and its capacity, as well as its history (which includes the noteworthy achievement of acquiring a reputation for becoming “patent troll killers” by developing a knack for uncovering “prior art.”) But, what is significant to this blogger (for purposes of this post’s focus) is that AOP has embraced an investigative strategy that recognizes the need for on-the-ground investigators to follow-up on research in order to collect tangible proof of infringement.
Here is another quote from the Forbes article, “…for example, they search for evidence that the company’s patented innovations are being used without permission in other companies’ products and services. If they discover such evidence, it can be used to confront an infringer and force it to compensate the patent owner.
EoU INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS
The AOP research process is comprehensive, but the four essential steps to their EoU research/investigative method is as follows:
- Collect all the patented and trademark protected information
- Translate technical patent and trademark information into functional terms
- Determine what types of products the patented technology and trademarked information can be used with
- Send investigators out into the field and search for the products using the patented technology and trademarked property in the marketplace without authorization
POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITY FOR IP INVESTIGATORS/RESEARCHERS
AOP publicizes access to a community of 42,000 global researchers to meet their clients’ needs. This may be an opportunity for private investigators and brand protection specialists to be of service. Consider visiting the AOP homepage and explore whether or not you’re suited to join their community of researchers.
Algorithms may provide the leads, but it’s the field investigator that must follow-up in order to get the “goods.” Well done, Article One Partners.
 How Human Detectives Catch AI Thieves, May 14, 2018, Forbes, by Marshall Phelps, https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallphelps/2018/05/14/how-human-detectives-catch-ai-thieves/#600afa83e678