Magistrate

Pushing the envelope with intellectual property management systems.

The Challenge

STC.UNM (previously Science & Technology Corporation @ the University of New Mexico) was just a fledgling technology transfer program, started only a few years prior to my joining. Everything was still being done in disjointed Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

It was painful. Besides the normal difficulties of the "email-me-the-latest-copy" syndrome, It was hard to determine analytics or anything meaningful from the data.

The decision to use a database was an easy one. Given my background up to that point with Microsoft systems, a new information system was born that would eventually grow into being one of the first intellectual property management systems to offer access to both staff and clients over the web, propelling STC.UNM into the forefront of intellectual property protection.

Learnings

  • Magistrate was an internal tool to begin with, and during its over-eight-year lifespan, handled all parts of the business, from initial invention disclosure to patent prosecution to marketing and licensing activities, as well as access by inventors over the web. Additionally, it was a fully "enterprise" app that had integrations with Microsoft Outlook (for automatically storing email messages as notes for the appropriate record) and MySQL (utilizing the MyODBC connector).
  • Not only did this store standard relational database information, but it also became a document management system that allowed for file versioning, indexing, and searching, offering interfaces through Microsoft Outlook and the web.
  • When we acquired digital intellectual property, I was able to update the system to serve as a basic e-commerce system for digital products. It allowed for reporting on sales for both office staff and the digital product author, as well as basic marketing abilities.

Source code is not currently available.

Technologies

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • PHP 5.3
  • ADODB
  • JavaScript (ES5)
  • jQuery
  • CakePHP
  • MediaWiki
  • Subversion
  • C#/.Net Framework 2.0
  • Visual Basic for Applications
  • Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO)
  • Microsoft Access

Duration

About 9.3 years
(2001 to 2010)