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i4i Bags Significant XML Contract

[Toronto, CANADA] i4i has inked a contract for the largest ever deployment of XML authoring licences.

The contract with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to provide 30,000 licences seems to confirm i4i as the world's dominant supplier of XML collaborative content development tools.

"We have supplied more seats in one implementation than all our competitors combined," said Rick Makos, chief executive officer and president of i4i.

"The USPTO contract confirms S4/TEXT is the application that will take XML mainstream, with broad appeal to a number of vertical industries, including financial services, government, manufacturing, and all regulated industries."

i4i's S4/TEXT will help the USPTO implement a new electronic system for filing patents. Lawyers and patent agents will be able to file patent applications using Microsoft Word, the world's most widely used software application.

With a combination of budget cuts and a 75 percent increase in workload over the next five years, an electronic filing system is crucial to the USPTO in its day-to-day operations.

"We have four and a half acres of office space devoted to paper," said Dennis Shaw, USPTO chief information officer.

"What we are trying to get out of is searching for paper, reproducing paper, and shipping paper."

If even 40 percent of patent lawyers and inventors make up their own applications in XML using S4/TEXT, the USPTO expects to save more than US $25 million.

The USPTO's goal is to conduct 80 percent of transactions electronically by 2003.

The electronic filing of patent applications offers a number of significant benefits, including:

  • Turnaround time to process a patent application will be reduced from four years to two.
  • Patents will be filed in multiple jurisdictions through a single filing.
  • International standards for patent searches can be implemented.
"The i4i technology makes the electronic patent like a regular Word document," said Shaw. "That is what we are hoping will move us forward in our quest for customer acceptance."



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