When I first started developing iOS apps, I was working as a patent agent (and later, as a patent attorney) at a small firm in New York. Without any bright ideas, and limited know-how, I made a couple of simple apps that helped me on the job. The first, Dial-a-Patent, was a simple patent finder. Punch in a number, get a document. The other, the unfortunately-named MPEP Plus gave you the ability to review the MPEP in pdf form, track down patents with a wildly-complex and intricate card-themed interface, calculate patent length, and download some commonly-used government forms. I even threw in an animated version of a guy wearing a jetpack from a published patent illustration. Earlier this year, I removed both from the App Store. Amazingly, these apps, coded in my first few months of studying iOS development, still functioned properly two years later. But they looked dated, and needed a rewrite.
Well, I’m happy to announce that those apps have a replacement, a new iPad app that’s nearing completion. In it, users can search for US patent applications by inventor, applicant, title, application number, and priority number. In many cases, several documents from the case are available as well. PDFs of each can be printed, emailed or saved for later. A couple of screenshots are to the left.
So, I’d like a few good beta testers to take a look. I haven’t practiced patent law in two years, so I’m a little distanced from actual cases, and want to effectively test the app. If you’re a patent attorney, agent, holder, or any other interested party, please let me know and I can send you a build. Expected date of release of the beta is August 11th. If you need an incentive, I’d be happy to repay you with a drink if you’re in New York, or with a bit of friendly advice about the app business if you’re not.