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Inside the USPTO: A Guide to the Patenting Process April 30, 2008

Posted by chetan in : AORTA, IP, IP Strategy, Intellectual Property, International Trade, M&A, Mergers and Acquisitions, Mobile Applications, Mobile Content, Mobile Ecosystem, Patent Strategies, Patent Strategy, Patents, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , 1 comment so far

Inside the USPTO: A Guide to the Patenting Process

by Carlos Villamar and Chetan Sharma

http://www.chetansharma.com/insidetheuspto.htm

Note: We have an integrated approach to strategy as we strongly believe that taking market research, business, technology, and intellectual property inputs into strategic initiatives is essential in obtaining a long-term sustainable competitive advantage in the industry. To further the dialogue on the subject, we will be publishing several articles, white papers, books, and blog posts over the course of next few months. This white paper is to help entrepreneurs and inventors understand the patenting process.

csc_strategy-s

This white paper was a collaboration with Carlos Villamar, Partner, Roberts Mlotkowski Safran & Cole. Carlos is a patent attorney who has also worked as a patent examiner at the USPTO.

uspto-s

Abstract

Patents are a key corporate asset that can give the inventor and the company an invaluable tool to protect and commercialize inventions. The process of obtaining a patent is an important one – from start to finish. Beginning with patent strategy, due-diligence and patent search through the United States Patent Office (USPTO) process to finally getting the grant, one needs to have a good understanding of each step. This increases the probability of success by removing uncertainty from the process. Inside the USPTO: A guide to the patenting process takes a detailed look at the ideation and the patent process, specifically, how patent applications flow through the USPTO. By having a good grasp of the intermediate steps and the various decision points associated with each of them, the paper discusses how entrepreneurs and inventors can maximize their chances of securing a patent.

Introduction

We live in a knowledge economy and Intellectual Property is a key asset in this new ecosystem. Patents are one of the essential elements to creating barriers to entry for rivals, building credibility and confidence of investors, customers, partners, and employees, providing clarity as to the property ownership, demanding leverage from the industry, and for generating revenue from licensing and sale.

The knowledge economy thrives and sustains on ideas and competitive advantage based on intellectual property. For individuals, the prestige associated with being an innovator and “first to secure” patents in a given field motivates them to be creative and innovative. Entrepreneurs, engineers, and inventors can benefit from understanding how to secure and maintain their intellectual property rights. This paper discusses the important steps in designing, filing, procuring, and defending your patent rights.

The following diagram illustrates at a high-level the patenting process and important considerations in the decision flow chart. The flow chart is discussed in detail in the subsequent sections.

Table of Contents

Abstract 3
Introduction 4
Pre filing due diligence 6
Patent preparation 9
USPTO filing 11
USPTO examination 13
After approval 16
Conclusions and Recommendations 17

 

Download the full white paper here.

Your feedback is always welcome.

FierceWireless releases its 15 winners April 29, 2008

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment

 Click here for the full feature.

The 2008 Fierce 15 winners are…

Congrats to the winners.

Disclaimer: Cequint is a client of ours.

Recap of Sacramento and Stanford events

Posted by chetan in : European Wireless Market, Indian Wireless Market, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Applications, Mobile Ecosystem, Speaking Engagements, US Wireless Market, Worldwide Wireless Market , add a comment

I am starting to lose count of how many events I have done related to the Mobile Advertising book but each one of them has been fun as I meet new friends and colleagues and get to visit with the old ones.

Had a pretty tight iten in sunny CA last week. Warm weather of bay area was a welcome change to the cold winter of Seattle which doesn’t want to go away. I have driven past Sacramento a couple of times before but never stopped there. Gopan, President of Techcoire (a high-tech networking organization in Sacramento) invited me to present the research from the book. The title of the talk was “Mobile Advertising: The $20B Opportunity?” The essence of the discussion was how do we move from the buzz of $20B to the biz of creating $20B in actual revenue. What are the sticking points? Where are the opportunities? and how do we go about creating a vibrant ecosystem? While there is justifiable skepticism in the advertising industry, mobile presents a very compelling conversation medium. The question is not about “if” but “when.”

After driving back and forth from bay area to Sacramento and coming late night, had a morning class with Prof Tom Kosnik’s “Global Entrepreneurial Marketing” students at Stanford University. It is a very popular course taught by a great teacher. On Prof. Kosnik’s suggestion, I skipped the standard presentation mode and straight away launched into the Q&A session and we went on for an hour. I used the slides and data to answer the questions. Frankly, I wish I could present and engage the audience this way more often. It is far more fun and both the audience and the speaker can get the most out of the session. The students were sharp, curious, and asked thought-provoking questions. Compared to other events, there were a lot more questions around privacy in mobile advertising and how to make sure the ecosystem doesn’t violate the trust of the users even accidentally. As an industry, we haven’t done all we can to ensure that, just yet. We also talked a lot about the fragmentation and differences in various market taking a more global view of the opportunity.

BookTour - Southern California

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I started doing the book events in Jan with the first presentation in Vancouver, BC and after doing several events on west coast, will be doing three events in SoCA in May, Pasadena and San Diego to be precise. Hope to see some of you at these events.

CommNexus San Diego

CommNexus event registration details are now online

Wireless Content & Applications SIG Presents…

Mobile Advertising

-Hear it from the Experts!-

WHEN:
May 20, 2008
TIME:
5:30PM Registration/Networking
6:00PM Event Starts
7:30PM Event Ends


Join us for an exciting evening where we talk about this hot, multi-billion dollar phenomena, called Mobile Advertising. And who better, than the authors of the new book: “Mobile Advertising: Supercharge your brand in the exploding wireless market”. Here is an excerpt from their book: “Mobile advertising is the stuff of which great cocktail party conversations are made. Some research houses are telling us to expect a $12 billion market by 2011. Online advertising has grown to look like a business to print money, so it’s only natural for there to be a little envy among us all. But that shouldn’t cause us to forget that online advertising didn’t exactly happen overnight it was tough sledding. And while there are obvious winners today, we all tend to forget the carnage left in the wake of unrealistic expectations.”

HIGHLIGHT:

This event is also the book launch event for the authors in San Diego, so, if you are looking for your copy of this book, do come and attend!


PANELISTS:
Chetan Sharma
Founder and President     Chetan Sharma Consulting
Author

Chetan is a recognized industry expert in strategy and implementation of wireless data and pervasive computing solutions. He has a strong background in developing and launching technologies, products, and solutions for the wireless Industry, including extensive experience in managing and delivering all phases of the product development cycle. Executives from leading wireless companies around the world seek his accurate predictions, independent insights, and actionable recommendations. He has served as an advisor to senior executive management of several Fortune 100 companies in the wireless space. Some of his clients include NTT DoCoMo, China Mobile, Disney, KTF, Sony, Samsung, Virgin Mobile, Sprint Nextel, AT&T Wireless, Alcatel-Lucent, KDDI, Cincinnati Bell, Reuters, Qualcomm, Reliance Infocomm, SAP, Merrill Lynch, American Express, Infospace, BEA, and HP.
Chetan is the author or co-author of five books: Wireless Internet Enterprise Applications (John Wiley & Sons, 2000), VoiceXML: Strategies and Techniques for Effective Voice Application Development (John Wiley & Sons, 2002), Wireless data services: Technologies, Business models, and Global markets (Cambridge University Press, 2004),  Mobile Advertising: Supercharge Your Brand in the Exploding Wireless Market (John Wiley & Sons, 2008), and Wireless Broadband Technology: Conflict and Convergence (IEEE Press, 2008). His books have been adopted in several corporate training programs and university courses at New York University and Graduate School of Tokyo University. Chetan has patents in wireless communications, is regularly invited to speak at conferences worldwide, and is an active member in industry bodies and committees.

Joe Herzog
Senior Director, Search Products     Infospace
Biography coming soon.
LOCATION:
TBA

COST:
$10.00 Pre-registration (Please pre-register by noon on May 19, 2008)
$20.00 At the Door
SIG CO-CHAIRS:
Pattric Rawlins, Procopio
Atul Suri, Qualcomm

Coming Soon: Inside the USPTO - A guide to the patenting process

Posted by chetan in : IP, IP Strategy, Patent Strategies, Patent Strategy, Patents , add a comment

uspto-s

Abstract

Patents are a key corporate asset that can give the inventor and the company an invaluable tool to protect and commercialize the inventions. The process of obtaining a patent is an important one – from start to finish. Beginning with patent strategy, due-diligence and patent search through the United States Patent Office (USPTO) process to finally getting the grant, one needs to have a good understanding of each step to increase the probability of success and thus remove uncertainty from the process. Inside the USPTO: A guide to the patenting process takes a look the ideation and the patent process from start to finish, specifically, how patent applications flow through the USPTO. By having a good grasp of the intermediate steps and the various decision points associated with each of them, the paper discusses how entrepreneurs and inventors can maximize their chances of securing a patent.

Verizon posts a solid quarter April 28, 2008

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment

image

$2.3B in data revenues, 23% of the mix.

Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum April 23, 2008

Posted by chetan in : Mobile Advertising, Speaking Engagements , 1 comment so far

I will be giving a keynote at the Caltech/MIT Enterprise forum in Pasadena on May 10th. Registration details are now online. There will be good discussion on advertising.

Online Advertising - Getting Up Close and Personal:
How new avenues for advertising will influence
the buying decisions of the
consumer?

Saturday, May 10, 2008
at the California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California

As the Web rolls onward in Web 2.0 (or is it 3.0?) the business models and infrastructure of online commerce and advertising continue to evolve rapidly. With more and more advertising dollars shifting to the Web and mobile applications, will advertising become more targeted to the individual and their physical location? Will localized search and targeted advertising be able to track advertising intelligently to you, your mobile device and your proximity to products and services? Today’s program will examine coming advances in Web 2.0 and other key issues in technology and business impacting the future of online advertising, new media and mobile commerce. Is mobile advertising the next major landgrab in online commerce? Who will be the winners in the convergence of the Web, television and mobile? Are the Big Players or small nimble startups the best bet?
Today’s event will feature presentations from key industry executives, longtime wireless industry advisors, serial entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. It will start with keynote presentations and company presentations from cutting edge startups and be followed by a panel discussion and plenty of audience Q&A. Please join us to find out where the industry is headed first hand.

Keynote Speakers

Tim Cadogan
CEO
OpenX
Former SVP of Global Advertising Marketplaces at Yahoo!

Chetan Sharma
President
Chetan Sharma Consulting and Author
Mobile Advertising: Supercharge Your Brand in
the Exploding Wireless Market

Presenters and Panelists

John Babcock
Partner
Rustic Canyon Partners

Gregory Markel

Founder/President

Infuse Creative

William Quigley
Managing Director
Clearstone Venture Partners

Producers/Moderators
Lynn Foster
Emerging Technologies Director
Greenberg Traurig LLP

Russell M. Frandsen, Esq.
Partner
The Business Legal Group

Date
Saturday morning, May 10, 2008

Location
Registration and Continental Breakfast:

8:00 a.m. at Baxter Hall, Caltech
Program:
9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Baxter Lecture Hall
Networking:
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon at Baxter Hall, Caltech

Cost
$40 on-line registration fee.  $50 at-the-door.  $10 for students with full-time student ID (must show at door); free to Caltech students. Registrations are taken on-line up to 5:00 p.m., May 8th. There are no refunds for no-shows.

SPONSORS FOR THIS PROGRAM

FOUNDING SPONSORS


Caltech Industrial Relations Center

Caltech Alumni Association


MIT Alumni Association

In Bay Area for the week

Posted by chetan in : Mobile Advertising, Speaking Engagements , add a comment

Spending some time in relatively warmer weather in CA. Tomorrow speaking at Techcoire in Sacramento and on friday at Stanford University.

Interview with Padmasree Warrior

Posted by chetan in : 3G, AORTA, Carriers, European Wireless Market, Intellectual Property, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Applications, Mobile Content, Mobile Ecosystem, Mobile Entertainment, US Wireless Market, Wi-Fi, WiMax, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , 4 comments

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Last year, I had a chance to interview Padmasree Warrior who was CTO of Motorola at the time and since then she has moved on to Cisco (as their CTO). The interview was conducted for the PiTech Magazine but for various delays the print edition never got released. I am publishing the interview in its entirety for our readers. Padmasree is a terrific technology leader and there are a lot of good insights in her answers.

1. What are some of the exciting initiatives you and your team are working on at Motorola?

The next decade is about the Mobile Revolution. It is quite remarkable how something as simple as the cell phone is transforming the human race by connecting the entire planet. Today almost half the planet communicates via a mobile device. The social, economic, cultural and technological implications of this are profound, particularly in under-developed countries of the world. The Motorola team is working on delivering products and experiences to enable “Seamless Mobility” which is our vision to enable access to communication, information and entertainment whenever, wherever and however people need it.

For example, recently we announced the world’s first wind and solar commercial network GSM cell site in Namibia. By incorporating renewable energy technology into this cell site, we created a cost-effective solution for operators in the region who find fuel generators too costly and don’t want to wait a long time for a main grid connection. Most importantly, we’ve created the infrastructure for people to be able to communicate with each other. That’s powerful and exciting.

2. What will the mobile device in 2012 look and feel like? What new features and functionality will be introduced by then?

The mobile device in 2012 will become an extension of your persona. In other words, it will know your preference, know where you are and will understand the context of what you need. This will simplify how people access communication, information and entertainment. For example, the mobile device will be your computer, wallet, TV, camera, music player, FM radio, alarm clock, flash light, calendar, game system and so on. By 2012 the mobile device will become your remote control for life.

3. How does “Always On” environment change how media and entertainment will evolve over the course of next five years? What does digital convergence mean to you?

The on-demand genie is out of the bottle and there is no way it is going back in. This fundamental shift in consumers’ expectations of being able to watch video when they want is having profound impact on nearly every technology component of every network that is capable of delivering a moving series of images . . . LANs, WANs and wireless.

I see convergence not as technology-driven, but experience driven. Convergence is the mobilization, socialization and personalization of content and communications…the technologies are being driven by the desired experiences. This is how Motorola researchers are going about their thinking. With deep expertise across mobile devices, home networking components, set-tops and next-generation networks, Motorola is focused on creating an integrated experience network topology that will excite the consumers and grow business for every player in the new media ecosystem.

4. If you were advising entrepreneurs, which problems would you advise them to tackle? Where is the most innovation needed? What are some of the problems that our industry hasn’t solved? What’s holding us back?

There are many problems to be solved, some are technological and others regulatory. I will answer this question more from a technological perspective. My advice to entrepreneurs is to focus on value added applications for the mobile platform that has many constraints such as battery life, screen size etc. Just forcing the internet designed for a PC onto the mobile device will not work. We need to think about innovation in areas of internet mobility, content mobility and broadband mobility. Areas of particular challenge are power management and battery life. Another exciting opportunity is to think about how this device may be used, when Wireless Broadband becomes a reality with WiMax. I don’t think anything is holding us back. I am an optimist – I believe the human mind can solve most problems. The scale of the mobile revolution is so massive that innovation will occur at many levels both in developed and emerging markets simultaneously.

5. At Java One you talked about Platform Disturbia. How do we solve the problem (or ease the pain) of industry fragmentation at multiple levels? Or is it a fact of life?

“Platform Disturbia” which is my anecdotal way of describing the fragmentation in the mobile industry can be a great opportunity for developers, but brings with it significant challenges. As content and communications go mobile - How does one move content easily and transcode it from one format to another? How does one set the hooks between different networks and mobile devices so the hand off is seamless? With personalization, where should the authentication and personalization engines be located - on the mobile device or on backend servers? Should context and location awareness work with authentication; how much should they reveal and to whom?

It is hard enough dealing with the sheer number of different mobile handsets, screens and separate operating systems. Now we want those devices to talk effortlessly with enterprise infrastructures - to enable secure communications and data sharing with field service people. We want to extend into the home and be able to upload and download content automatically from set top boxes. And deliver a whole new generation of location and context-based services that will make mobile devices even more personal and interactive.

The way to ease the pain of industry fragmentation is through the adoption of standards and for large innovative companies to be transparent about intellectual property rather than extract high royalty rates for patented technologies. The former accelerates time to market and therefore expands market creation with a unified approach. Of course, companies must protect their intellectual property and get fair, reasonable payment for their patent rights. However, often fragmentation occurs when competing technologies are created to avoid high royalty taxation.

The mobile world is a huge and divergent ecosystem where innovation needs all of us to be both visionary and pragmatic - so that we can move to Platform Utopia!

6. India’s wireless market has been exploding at a rapid pace. Could you please discuss the role of wireless communications in India’s economy? What role does India play in the global wireless market?

Yes, the wireless communications market is certainly growing very rapidly in India – nearly every global manufacturer has production and research presence in the country. India adds almost 6 million subscribers every month – that is equivalent to connecting the entire country of Denmark in India every month!

This rapid adoption of mobile communications will have a positive impact on economic empowerment over the long run. This is already starting to happen in other emerging markets. For example, merchants in Zambia use mobile phones for banking. Health workers in S. Africa use them to update records while visiting patients. In Tanzania fishermen use mobile phones to get market, weather and the price of fish while still off shore. Already mobile connectivity is generating big economic benefits according to a London Business School study. The study says that in a typical developing country, a rise of 10 mobile phones per 100 people boosts GDP growth rate by 0.6%. That may not seem much but compounded over a few years it adds up to a substantive increase in the standard of living

India plays a critical role in the global wireless market because the scale of people yet to be connected is large. This demand will become a hotbed for creativity and innovation. When we connect the billions of people, we will see new use cases with mobility. Looking forward, the opportunity in India and support of the government is quite strong. The Indian government has set the target of 500 million subscribers by 2010.

7. How do you manage uncertainty? How do you keep the team of 26,000 focused and motivated?

Managing uncertainty is exactly what innovation is all about. Not knowing the answers, taking risks, disrupting the status quo and challenging conventional wisdom are necessary ingredients to invent and innovate. As inventors, it is our responsibility to think beyond the possible and break barriers to create the never before imagined solution.

However, with this creativity comes the need of one shared vision. At Motorola, our shared vision is of a world in which communications transcends the barriers of space and time to deliver an on-demand consumer experience – what we call seamless mobility. It is this vision that connects our work and keeps our 26,000 focused on one end goal.

Most importantly, I surround myself with very smart people – individuals who are not only experts in their fields, but also possess strong business acumen blended with an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed. It is tough to find people like that, but ultimately people are the backbone of an organization, they are the catalysts for growth and success. Leadership is not about YOU but them – the teams you lead. My advice is to leaders – be humble and don’t be afraid to hire talent that is better than you.

  1. How do you keep up with all the information and technology evolution around you? You have your own blog; do you have some favorites that you read regularly?

I stay connected – to people and information. I read just about anything and everything that comes my way, it is almost addictive. I also spend a lot of time meeting customers, visiting universities across the world, chatting with students - all the way from elementary to post doctoral and interacting with industry thought leaders. This has exposed me to some truly remarkable individuals from all fields. Recently while in San Francisco, Dr. Jill Tarter invited me to the SETI Institute where I met with some brilliant astronomers and scientists and gained a unique perspective on their contributions and achievements.

I also stay connected to information - from blogs to technical papers to trade journals to books, there is always something fascinating that sparks my interest (and keeps me busy on those long cross-Atlantic flights!). Yes, I have my own blog called “Bits at the Edge” - http://blogs.motorola.com/author/padmasree-warrior/. I read many blogs and enjoy the perspective of different bloggers, whether they agree with my opinions or not.

  1. What are the key ingredients of a strategy to outsmart competition?

I always say a Vision without a plan is just a Dream. The key to success is Think Big and Act Fast. Focus on delivering value by solving relevant problems.

10. How can technology companies better understand the needs of customers?

It may sound simple but I would say that we could better understand the needs of customers by being better listeners - especially earlier in the product development cycle. As corporations grow, it is easy to get stifled by what is going inside our own walls and forget to open the doors in the early stages of concepts, to understand the pulse of the marketplace.

At Motorola, we are shifting our focus to delivering enhanced experiences to our customers. Similarly, our research efforts stay focused on discovering the problems of tomorrow and then creating solutions to solve these problems.

Let’s take the example of the original RAZR – our researchers perceived that consumers were in search of a phone that would fit in their shirt pocket; our scientists then brainstormed and developed the solution of an embedded antenna that allowed for a slimmer form.

11. How do you manage work-life balance?

I actually dislike the word “balance” in this context, because it conjures up images of conflict. My work is an integral part of my life and so are my family, my community, my friends and my self. I prefer to think of this more as an integration challenge. I have one life in which I must INTEGRATE each of these. Therefore, it is not important HOW we decide to apportion the time spent on each of these because there is no right answer. The challenge is to COPE with the guilt that comes with however we choose to spend time on each of these. Over the years, I have tried not to feel guilty about things that I am unable to do, but rather enjoy the experiences of what I am able to do. Recently I had to miss our senior leadership strategy session, instead I chose to attend my son’s middle school commencement where he received a President honor award. I had a blast being a proud mom that evening.

12. You are an inspiration to many. Who inspires you? Who has been your role model(s) and why?

Mother Teresa continues to be an inspiration to me. I do not see her just as a martyr but as a pioneer and a bold risk taker. She looked at the world holistically and her work broke down barriers – race, color, ability, wealth and economic status. She left her home country and comfort zone to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor.

13. Who are some people you would really like to meet with that you haven’t been able to meet yet?

Restricting my wishes to people that are living, I would like to meet Nelson Mandela who single handedly and irreversibly influenced the course of apartheid in the world. I would also like to meet Scott Adams – I Iove Dilbert!

14. What’s the last book that you read that really made a difference in your life?

The Alchemist – poetic style of prose that is thought provoking, makes you pause.

15. What are some of your favorite memories of being at IIT?

Dating my then boyfriend (now husband), all night chat sessions in the dorm room, the perennial hikes to street cafes at odd hours in search of chai (tea) that had nothing at all to do with drinking tea per se, heated debates about everything from solving world hunger to cutting classes the next day.

AT&T Q108 - Good start for the year April 22, 2008

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment

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3G penetration increased to 15%

CTIA Wireless Wave - Moving Targets April 21, 2008

Posted by chetan in : AORTA, ARPU, CTIA, Carriers, European Wireless Market, Indian Wireless Market, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Applications, Mobile Ecosystem, Mobile Entertainment, US Wireless Market, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , add a comment

The Wireless Wave article on Mobile Advertising is online now

cover_spring2008

Moving Targets: Mobile Marketing Reaches Consumers on Their Terms
                                                                                 By Lynn Thorne

Imagine you’re about to meet a blind date for drinks. On the way to the restaurant you realize you’re short on cash. You don’t know your way around the city too well – how will you find the nearest ATM? The answer is as convenient as glancing at your cell phone.

Or you’re driving to meet a new client and you have just enough time to make the meeting. Suddenly your phone sounds an alert letting you know there’s a traffic jam ahead – just in time for you to take an alternate route and arrive on time.

Perhaps you live in an area where severe weather outbreaks are the norm. You get a message on your phone urging you to take cover, as you are smack in the path of an oncoming twister. Did a concerned co-worker call you with the warning? No, The Weather Channel Interactive sent you an urgent message on your handset.

To some these stories sound like science fiction, but to a growing number of those in the know, these are the proven, and very real abilities of mobile marketing and advertising. And while consumers have been using SMS, or short messaging service, for years, the future of mobile is about to take off faster than you can text “ASAP.”

Wide Open World
Mobile marketing and mobile advertising have been flourishing in other parts of the world since the early part of this century. In Japan, for instance, two factors uniquely helped the explosive growth of this industry: networks and teamwork. Ironically, those same two factors are part of what has delayed mobile commerce in the U.S.

“The penetration of broadband wireless, which is 70 to 80 percent in Japan, is only about 20 percent in the U.S.,” says to industry analyst Chetan Sharma,president of CSC, a consulting and advisory firm helping companies in the mobile and voice communications sector. Sharma points out that in Japan and Korea, mobile carriers and the advertising industry have collaborated and joined ventures to form companies to address mobile marketing and advertising. “But in the U.S.,” Sharma says, “carriers have their own strategy, and advertisers have their own strategy. They’re not working together.”

Yet the U.S. is the biggest advertising market in the world, and it appears that the nation is on the verge of a mobile marketing breakthrough. Sharma claims it is only a matter of time before the country comes into its own in the m-commerce arena. “A lot of the problems existing today will be solved because advertisers are eager to reach consumers. Even though Japan and Korea got started with mobile advertising before the U.S., the aggressiveness of the advertisers pursuing it is greater in this country.”

Applications
M-commerce has innumerable uses, some of which haven’t even been thought of yet. However, it is already being used in some fascinating ways. Roughly half of the mobile consumers in Korea and Japan use their phones like a credit card of sorts. Near Field Communication (NFC) technology enables them to pay for purchases by waving their cell phone over a contactless reader at retailers. They can even download coupons to their phones and then forward the discounts to other users in their networks.

While that technology hasn’t yet reached America, U.S. users are benefitting from mobile marketing in myriad ways. For example, Crisp Wireless partners with media entertainment companies like USA Today to enable them to build a mobile presence through advertising. USA Today, one of the pioneers of delivering traditional newspaper content in a mobile platform, launched its initial site in December of 2005. Boris Fridman, CEO of Crisp Wireless, calls it “nothing short of the perfect mobile destination.” Fridman explains why: “They started building this significant consumer audience, and advertisers started paying attention to it. They’ve done a tremendous job at understanding that mobile Internet would become a driver for advertising dollars. For USA Today, it is no longer an experiment; it is clearly a significant business opportunity.”

AOL, another early adopter, has capitalized on the mobile commerce opportunity as well. In 2007, the company updated its portal for a richer user interface, including AOL mobile search, City Guide, access to AIM (the largest ing the platforms available, AOL has concen-trated on making mobile simple for consumers.

“We do things that make accessing our services easier, not necessarily making the mobile phone easier to use,” says Jason Gruber, director of Mobile and Telecommunications for AOL. Some examples include getting MapQuest information on the desktop transferred to a phone with a ‘send to cell’ functionality, where the user enjoys one-click access to MapQuest details. AOL was the first to introduce an I.M. forwarding service, so messages sent to a user’s desktop can be forwarded to his or her handset. “So it’s not only at the application level where we’re constantly making adjustments to the portal, but we’re really responding to the consumer base, [making sure] that the services consumers are comfortable with on the desktop can really work in the mobile space in an easy and fast way that’s relevant,” says Gruber.

Location-based service, in concert with GPS, enables companies to provide a context to their content. The Weather Channel Interactive, for example, has more than 35 million unique online users each month. It can deliver current conditions, expert forecasts, and relevant lifestyle content for 98,000 locations worldwide, so consumers in California are getting information that is specific to the west coast, while Michigan residents can be apprised of impending lake effect snows.

Since the younger generation drives a lot of the growth of mobile marketing, MTV is enjoying phenomenal increases in its mobile platforms. Greg Clayman, executive vice president of Digital Distribution and Business Development, Global Digital Media of MTV, says video is a prime example. “We’re doing five million mobile video clips a month in the U.S. That is nearly double what they were last year.” Beyond video clips, MTV’s mobile inventory includes linear video service, with clips of mobile video with DSE, and live programming of Comedy Central and Nickelodeon on V-cast.

The applications benefit the marketer as well as the consumer because ads can be much more user-specific. With browser-based advertising, ZIP codes are themain way to reach a particular audience segment. With mobile mar-keting and advertising, advertisers can utilize mobile instant messaging community) and information like gender, income, and other MapQuest, among others. Beyond imply maklimited profile data – all provided to wireless carriers by the user – to truly target the consumers most likely to respond.

Challenges and Solutions
It is easy to envision mobile marketing and advertising as an extension of the Internet, and in many ways, it is. However, there are fundamental differences that will affect the success of this new channel.

For example, advertisers cannot just expect the same ad to work on a PC and a mobile device. The huge difference in screen sizes means most ads won’t translate from one entity to another. Keyboard capabilities are also vastly different between computers and handsets.

AOL’s Gruber points out another challenge: fragmentation. “The application or service that we develop for a very simple low-end phone on one network may behave very differently and function differently than what exists on a very high-end phone.” To combat this problem, AOL has announced a client version of “My Mobile” that will make implementing AOL services on a mobile device a lot easier, no matter what kind of handset or carrier is used.

Chetan Sharma says search-based advertising has to change for mobile marketing to succeed. “On mobile devices, you have limited real estate. People are looking for answers, not thousands of facts. It becomes tricky in terms of how you figure out what the intent of the user is, so there is not so much room for error in mobile as there is for the Internet.”

There is also the challenge of demographics: plenty of industry research points to the younger generations as being the main mobile users. However, today’s device is not your teen’s mobile phone.

“Over the past few years, Newsweek, USA Today, Car and Driver, Elle, and many other traditional media companies that don’t necessarily appeal to the very young have launched mobile destinations,” says Fridman. “They appeal to a much broader audience.”

Louis Gump, vice president of Mobile at The Weather Channel Interactive, says the age limitations aren’t real. “There is a myth in the industry that everyone who uses their device for something other than talking on it is about 22 years old with a backpack. If you look at the demos, based on some of the research, what you’ll see is that the majority of the audience that uses wireless data is actually in the 25-34, and 35-44 demo with tails on either side. It’s a very attractive audience with millions of people who are in multiple demographic areas.”

Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles is the consumers themselves. Will they balk at the idea of advertising on their mobile devices as being too intrusive? Clayman predicts acceptance.
“As the mobile online experience begins to look more like the Web we’re accustomed to, consumers expect a certain degree of advertising. As long as it is something that is actually useful, people will think, ‘I see ads when I’m online or when I’m watching TV so there’s no reason I shouldn’t see them on my phone as well.’”

Besides, Clayman points out, consumers are already paying for the content they get on their mobile devices. Ads can help offset the increasing costs. “If a carrier has video clips the consumer pays for that, and if you want to double the amount of content consumers can get, you’ve got limited options. Either the carrier can pay for it and lose money, or they can charge consumers more. Mobile advertising in general can subsidize that.”

Would people be willing to pay more for their mobile services instead of seeing ads on their devices? Probably not, but experts say they will likely accept some advertising in exchange for reduced-cost service. “If they are able to decide what kind of ads they get and when they get them, consumers will be more willing to accept [mobile advertising],” says Sharma.

Growing Pains and Plans
Experts agree that for mobile marketing and advertising to be as successful as possible, the user must be in control. Gump says careful planning is key.

“From a consumer-facing standpoint, we have an opportunity as media companies, wire-less carriers, and other service providers in the industry, to get this right. We need to put the customer first. From an industry standpoint, we need to think about how our actions today will affect where we’re going to be 10 years from now and act accordingly.”

Analyst Sharma agrees. “We need to make sure that the market matures correctly and that the business models are ironed out before the market becomes too big. It’s a journey of cautious optimism to contextual nirvana.”

That journey, while in its infancy, is well underway. As companies branch out and try new forms of mobile marketing – everything from American Idol’s interactive audience voting via text message to The Weather Channel Interactive’s use of location-based services – the industry is poised to take off.
“This is just the beginning,” says Fridman. “There are about 40 million consumers that visit mobile sites monthly, which represents about 15 percent of the subscriber base. But every month that audience continues to grow. This is an incredible growth opportunity for companies who want to reach the consumers, because that number will only continue to go up.”

And those companies are taking notice. “I’ve seen an uptake in the integration of mobile advertising by the brands and the agencies in the marketplace that has really impressed me,” Gruber says. “The way those budgets have grown, the way the brands are coming back for repeat business … I’m really looking forward to 2008 being a breakout year for mobile marketing and mobile advertising.”

Inside the USPTO: An In-Depth look at the art of securing a patent April 18, 2008

Posted by chetan in : IP, IP Strategy, Patent Strategies, Patent Strategy, Patents , add a comment

uspto

As some of you know, I work extensively in the Intellectual Property Space. Over the past few weeks, I have been collaborating with a good friend and colleague of mine - Carlos Villamar, Partner at Roberts Mlotkowski Safran & Cole in Washington DC on a paper that takes an in-depth look at the processes and strategies required to secure a patent. In his past life, Carlos was a patent examiner with the USPTO so his insights have been very valuable.

We will be releasing the paper in early May. Stay Tuned.

Mobile Advertising Book now available in Europe

Posted by chetan in : Mobile Advertising , add a comment

Apparently, the book shipment reached Europe and the bookstores are stocked with copies so you can directly order it from your local stores (online or b&m)… incase you were waiting .. :-)

Mobile Caller ID: Lessons in Simplicity, Utility, and Convenience April 17, 2008

Posted by chetan in : AORTA, ARPU, Carriers, Mobile Applications, Mobile Ecosystem, US Wireless Market , add a comment

Mobile Caller ID: Lessons in Simplicity, Utility, and Convenience

Sponsored by Cequint, Inc.

http://www.chetansharma.com/mobilecallerid.htm

mobilecallerid-s

This is a very exciting and promising time for the mobile industry - next generation networks are finally being launched, new handsets are being introduced, and mobile data services are creating significant opportunities for revenue growth.

In spite of the buzz and hype, the mobile industry is still faced with the old problems of providing more value to customers to reduce churn and increase subscriber loyalty and ARPU (Average Revenue Per User).  Mobile carriers are increasingly called upon to offer personalized services that recognize the unique needs of their users. 

While it is tempting to focus on new and glitzy mobile applications, the best ROI often comes from enhancements of existing mass-market features. For instance, by providing “push” capability, RIM revolutionized mobile email, by providing predictive text Tegic’s T9 made tapping keypads less painful, and by making good old voicemail visual and browsing simpler, Apple’s iPhone scored a home run.

Service providers who implement a user-centric vision will deliver sustainable competitive advantage – both now and in the future. While operators should continue to focus on long-term roadmaps and new applications and services, they shouldn’t just wait for a new market to take shape for such applications (e.g. Mobile TV) and ignore the opportunity that exists in enhancing the most commonly used mobile device features such as address book, user interface, text input, dialing and receiving calls.

Such enhancements require lower marketing budgets and less user training since these service improvements complement existing user behavior.  Operators would do well to be asking themselves not just “what will my subscribers want next?” – but “what are my subscribers doing NOW and how can I improve their current experience.”.

We need to remember that the principal motivation to buy is not the technology, but the service that the customer is willing to accept and pay for. As such, all in the value chain need to focus on the single most important aspect of any service - simplicity, utility, and convenience. Meaningful revenue doesn’t come from revolutionary applications that only a few subscribers use, but from ideas that touch the most consumers, and add value to the most user transactions.

In this paper we present the results of a user survey conducted by Chetan Sharma Consulting of a simple but compelling mobile feature called City ID, developed by Cequint, and discuss the lessons drawn from user opinions.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3
City ID 4
Survey methodology 4
Utility, Simplicity, and Convenience - hallmarks of successful applications 4
Usage and decision criterion 7
User satisfaction 9
Conclusions 10

 

Download the full whitepaper here.

Your feedback is always welcome.

Chetan Sharma

Nokia’s Outlook

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment

Nokia released its Q1 earnings earlier today and had the following outlook for the year.

- Nokia device volumes of 115.5 million units, up 27% year on year and down 13% sequentially.
- Estimated industry device volumes of 295 million units, up 17% year on year and down 12% sequentially.
- Nokia estimated device market share of 39%, up from 36% in Q1 2007 and down from 40% in Q4 2007.
- Nokia device ASP of EUR 79, down from EUR 83 in Q4 2007. (Device ASP excludes net sales from Services & Software)

- Nokia expects industry mobile device volumes in the second quarter 2008 to be up slightly sequentially, similar to the market growth in the second quarter 2007, compared to the first quarter 2007.
- We expect Nokia’s mobile device market share in the second quarter 2008 to increase sequentially.
- Nokia continues to expect industry mobile device volumes in 2008 to grow approximately 10% from the approximately 1.14 billion units Nokia estimates for 2007.
- Nokia expects the mobile device market to decline in value in Euro terms in 2008, compared to 2007. The change from our previous estimate of value growth for this market primarily reflects the negative impact of the recently weakened US dollar, the general economic slowdown in the US, and possibly going forward some economic slowdown in Europe.
- Nokia continues to expect some decline in industry ASPs in 2008, primarily reflecting the increasing impact of the emerging markets and competitive factors in general.
- Nokia continues to target an increase in its market share in mobile devices in 2008.
- Nokia expects the mobile and fixed infrastructure and related services market to be flat in Euro terms in 2008, compared to 2007. The change from the previous estimate of “very slight growth” for this market primarily reflects the negative impact of the recently weakened US dollar.
- Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks target for Nokia Siemens Networks market share to remain constant in 2008, compared to 2007.
- Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks cost synergy target for Nokia Siemens Networks is to achieve substantially all of the EUR 2.0 billion of targeted annual cost synergies by the end of 2008, as previously announced.

Interview with Online Center for Media Studies, India

Posted by chetan in : Indian Wireless Market, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Applications, Mobile Content, Mobile Ecosystem , 1 comment so far

My interview with Sunil Saxena, Dean of Online Center for Media Studies, India is online now.

At Techcoire next week in Sacramento April 15, 2008

Posted by chetan in : Mobile Advertising , add a comment

getting ready for a couple of events next week in CA. Techcoire is sponsoring a talk on the mobile advertising market. the next day, i will be talking with Prof. Kosnik’s students at Stanford University on the same subject. Looking forward to meeting old and new friends and colleagues.


Add this event to your outlook


FEATURED AUTHOR OF

Mobile Advertizing Book

& AS RECENTLY SEEN ON

Brandweek StoryBarrons CTIA

LTE Technology IPR licensing April 14, 2008

Posted by chetan in : Intellectual Property, Worldwide Wireless Market , add a comment

From the press release

Wireless Industry Leaders commit to framework for LTE technology IPR licensing
Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, NEC, NextWave Wireless, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks and Sony Ericsson have today announced a mutual commitment to a framework for establishing predictable and more transparent maximum aggregate costs for licensing intellectual property rights (IPR) that relate to 3GPP Long Term Evolution and Service Architecture Evolution standards (LTE/SAE). The companies invite all interested parties to join this initiative which is intended to stimulate early adoption of mobile broadband technology across the communications and consumer electronic industries.
The framework is based on the prevalent industry principle of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms for essential patents. This means that the companies agree, subject to reciprocity, to reasonable, maximum aggregate royalty rates based on the value added by the technology in the end product and to flexible licensing arrangements according to the licensors’ proportional share of all standard essential IPR for the relevant product category.

Specifically, the companies support that a reasonable maximum aggregate royalty level for LTE essential IPR in handsets is a single-digit percentage of the sales price. For notebooks, with embedded LTE capabilities, the companies support a single-digit dollar amount as the maximum aggregate royalty level. The parties believe the market will drive the LTE licensing regime to be in accordance with these principles and aggregate royalty levels.
This framework balances the prevailing business conditions relevant for the successful widespread adoption of the LTE standard, which continues its progress toward definitive adoption by the industry in the applicable standards forums and organizations.

Carnival of the Week

Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , add a comment

over at MobileJones. Thanks Debi for hosting and for the mention.

From the cyber bridge between the UK and US, Chetan Sharma of AORTA delivers the Mobile Data State of the Union for 2008 and the US market. Sharma continues his on target analysis of the mobile industry combining quantitative measures with enlightened commentary which extends beyond the common narrative into the reality of the US mobile market.

Mobile Data - The State of the Union April 11, 2008

Posted by chetan in : AORTA, Mobile Ecosystem, US Wireless Market, Wireless Value Chain, Worldwide Wireless Market , 6 comments

2008 will be an important year for the wireless data industry. Specifically, in the US, we are over 83% subscription penetration, 50% data penetration, 25% 3G penetration, 14% smartphone penetration have 20% data ARPU. And we are just getting started. This year will see significant discussion around what means to be “open” and how one leverages such a platform and who will be the change agents of this new paradigm in the industry. The FCC 700 MHz auction, Android platform, Verizon’s Open initiative, Apple’s SDK are all going to carry the discussion forward. While the business around ringtones is flattening, new markets around mobile advertising, location based services, mobile video and browsing are starting to become more mature. Though we should be cautious about falling into the “irrational exuberance” trap, there are reasons to be optimistic.

Mobile Data now forms a significant portion of the operator service revenues and appropriate resources are being allocated to ensure that the ecosystem is robust and can thrive in the long run. New product areas are being trialed out such as Femto Cells for improving upon In-building coverage, mobile payments to turn your phone in a wallet, projection chipsets that turn your phone into a high-resolution projector, and biometrics based authentication to enhance security of your data on the phone, and enterprise users are adopting mobile data services in large numbers. Mobile device is truly becoming the remote control of our lives. To harvest and mine all these opportunities, the industry must work in a collaborative manner to address the needs and concerns of the consumers, reduce fragmentation, and encourage entrepreneurship and enterprise.

There are also significant shifts in the ecosystem. As the revenues shift from voice to data, the media industry is going to have a decisive say in how the industry evolves. Apple’s iPhone redefined user experience by enhancing what already existed for decades and thus wrest away the control from its operator partner. Similarly, Nokia, Google, and Yahoo are pushing boundaries of conventional business models and business relationships which is leading to friction, introspection, fear, and opportunities (FIFO) amongst the players.

All this bodes well for our industry. We need to be constantly challenged to make sure consumer is at the center of our universe and we should spare no effort in making the mobile applications and services not only useful but usable. Though clouds of economic uncertainly loom on the horizon, we will look back at 2008 and marvel at how far we have come within a short period of time.

I wrote this short piece for Washington Technology Industry Association to coincide with their first mobile event of the year last month.