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
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

  • 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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