Tuesday, July 9, 2013

ATI and Intellectual Property Protection

The United States Patent and Trademark Office defines Intellectual Property (IP) as Creations of the mind - creative works or ideas embodied in a form that can be shared or can enable others to recreate, emulate, or manufacture them. There are four ways to protect intellectual property – patents, trademarks, copyrights or trade secrets.  The protection of intellectual property is intended to promote innovation.  ATI views the process of acquiring protection for intellectual property as part of the innovative process.  Accordingly, it plays a key role in the way in which ATI creates and manages technological innovation.
While a number of works generated at ATI are copyrighted and important terms, such as Galileo, are protected by trademark, ATI pays special attention to patentable material for important reasons. First and foremost, patentability is core to the ATI mission of creating technology to promote learning discussed in more detail in our June 10 post.
Footers within Galileo Online applications state: "Protected by U.S. Patents 6,322,366; 6,468,085; 7,065,516 and others pending." The three currently applicable patents are just one portion of ATI's patent portfolio. These three patents cover the base "Instructional Management System," "Scale Builder and Method" and "Data Checker Apparatus and Method" respectively. One additional, recently granted patent is for a uniquely Pre-K product (Storyteller) that may influence future K-12 product development. However, multiple new applications make up the remainder of the ATI IP portfolio.
Patents pending include:
  • "Integrated Assessment System for Standards-Based Assessment":  ATI's innovative approach to standards-based testing.
  • "Item Banking System for Standards-Based Assessment":  A unique aspect of all ATI work is the creation of an item banking system capable of rapidly mapping items to new standards sets through the use of item specifications.
  • "Online Instructional Dialogs" and "Online Instructional Dialog Books":  Dialogic technology allows for rapid curriculum development and deployment at the district/charter school level.  Compilation of newly developed curricula into dialog books will support instruction under Common Core State Standards.
  • "Instructional Effectiveness (IE) Assessment":  Methods and software tools created by ATI will effectively support educator effectiveness initiatives.
Utility (“of use”) patents are one facet of the patent process utilized by ATI; however, another area of IP protection is the concept of design patents. As part of the Instructional Effectiveness Assessment System, ATI has patents pending for design aspects of the "IE Score Compiler."  This is a unique method of assisting client districts to determine and graphically represent components used to determine educator effectiveness including state test scores, standards-aligned formative tests, administrator evaluations, or other district-defined measurements.
ATI client districts and charter schools benefit from IP protection in a number of ways:  First, ATI’s commitment to continuous innovation produces continuous technological development essential to keep pace with rapid changes in education.  Second, since the management of innovation is built into the development process, innovations can be implemented with minimal disruption to ongoing use of ATI applications.  Third, protection of intellectual property ensures that we are able to focus resources on innovation rather than infringement defense practices, keeping Galileo costs low.   If you have any questions about ATI’s IP portfolio, feel free to contact us.

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