Article One Partners

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Article One Partners, L.L.C.
Industry Prior art search
Founded November, 2008
Headquarters New York City, New York
Key people

Marshall Phelps, CEO
Cheryl Milone, Founder and Chairwoman
Paul DiGiammarino, President
Peter Vanderheyden, CPO
Rick Schwartz, COO[1]
Products Patent research services
Number of employees

Article One Partners, L.L.C. (AOP) is a venture-funded online prior art search community based in New York City, New York.[2][3] AOP provides crowdsourced prior-art-search services by utilizing an online research community. The company's President stated that, as of June 30, 2016, AOP comprises "more than 37,000 in over 170 countries."[4]

Since launching in late 2008, AOP states that, as of October 2016, it has rewarded more than US$7,487,672 to its researchers.[5]


AOP was founded in November 2008 by attorney Cheryl Milone.[6] It was backed by venture capital firms Alleghany Capital Corporation,[7] General Catalyst Partners, and the former head of intellectual property policy and strategy at Microsoft Marshall Phelps, with investments totaling $15 million by January 2013.[3][8]

In October 2013, Phelps was announced as the new Chief Executive Officer of AOP.[9]

In April 2016, the company announced that it had surpassed the $7-million mark in researcher rewards. During the same month, it announced the appointment of Tom Shambo to the role of senior vice president of sales and marketing; Shambo is a former employee of RenewData Corporation and Banyan Systems, among other companies.[10] In late-October 2016, the company stated that it had completed 178 Public Studies and 383 Private Studies for the year so far.[11]

Products and services[edit]


To conduct its intellectual-property research projects, referred to as "Studies," AOP posts the project requirements and descriptions online as a request for the "crowd" of researchers to submit relevant research submissions. Researchers are required to "make at least one submission that matches the requirements of the Study," and rewards are dispensed to the selected "top responses" when the Study is closed.[12] The patent-research Studies of AOP include patent infringement cases, and the company performs both "Private" and "Public" Studies.[11]

The company charges a one-time fee or an annual membership to corporate clients.[8] Rewards of up to $6,500 are posted for each Study and are paid to researchers based on the quality of their submissions.[13][14]

AOP Connect[edit]

AOP Connect is a dashboard technology that includes a complete corpus of a client’s past work, whereby the research references are not perishable.[15]

Past public studies[edit]

NTP, Inc.[edit]

In December 2010, Article One Partners launched community examination of three patents owned by NTP Inc., a non-practicing entity.[16] The patents in question were central to the ongoing patent infringement suits filed by NTP against Apple, Google, Microsoft, HTC, LG, and Motorola.[17][18] The patent-review studies were launched with rewards of $10,000 offered for researchers who presented the most relevant evidence around mobile-email technologies.[16]

Interval licensing[edit]

In March 2011, Article One Partners launched community examination of patents owned by Interval Research Corporation, a non-practicing entity co-founded by Paul Allen and David Liddle. The patents were the subject of a lawsuit filed by Interval Research Corp. against defendants Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, AOL, eBay, Netflix, OfficeMax, and Staples.[19] In the lawsuit, Interval Research Corp. asserted that the defendants used technology on their websites that was originally created by a company owned by Allen.[20]

Mobile application developers[edit]

In June 2011, AOP launched a community examination of a patent owned by Macrosolve. The patent is central to Macrosolve's patent infringement claims against 30 mobile application development companies.[21] This examination was followed by another announcement of the launch of three studies regarding patents held by the patent-licensing company Lodsys. These patents were involved in patent-infringement claims against several application-development companies, as well as larger companies including Sam's Club, Best Western, Adidas, and Best Buy.[22]

Other litigation[edit]

Although the company stresses the importance of client confidentiality,[19] the company launch in 2008 included the announcement of multiple high-profile cases. These cases included:


In 2009, Article One Partners won the Silicon Valley Startup of the Year.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Article One Team". Article One Partners. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  2. ^ Galen Moore (2010-04-19). "VCs Bet on the Spread of Business Crowdsourcing". American City Business Journals, Inc. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  3. ^ a b c Nick Saint (2010-07-27). "Startup 2009 Winner Article One Partners Raises $5 Million". Business Insider, Inc. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  4. ^ "The Researchers > Meet the Researchers". Article One Partners. Article One Partners, LLC. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Researchers > Research Community". Article One Partners. Article One Partners, LLC. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Internet Firm to Reward Researchers for Patent Evidence". The Washington Times. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  7. ^ "Allegany". 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Olga Kharif (18 January 2013). "Crowdsourcing the Fight Against Tech Patent Trolls". Bloomberg. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  9. ^ AOP (22 October 2013). "Article One Partners Announces Marshall Phelps as Chief Executive Officer" (Press release). Marketwired. Nasdaq, Inc. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "Article One Partners Appoints Tom Shambo as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and surpasses $7 Million in awards paid to the Patent Research Community". Article One Partners. Article One Partners, LLC. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "2016 Statistics". Article One Partners. Article One Partners, LLC. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "The Researchers > Become a Researcher". Article One Partners. Article One Partners, LLC. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Joelle Tessler (2008-11-18). "Online startup aims to improve patent quality". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  14. ^ Asher Hawkins (2008-12-18). "Patent Vigilantes"., LLC. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  15. ^ "Article One Partners launches AOP Connect". IPFrontline. I, LLC. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  16. ^ a b Grant Gross (2010-12-09). "Crowdsourcing Group Targets NTP Mobile E-mail Patents". PC World. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  17. ^ Rob Pegoraro (2010-07-09). "NTP sues everybody over alleged wireless e-mail patents". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  18. ^ Micheline Tang (2010-07-09). "NTP Sues Apple, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft, and Motorola for Infringement of Wireless Email Patents". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  19. ^ a b Michael Hickins (2011-03-02). "Paul Allen's Foes Hope for Help From the 'Crowd'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  20. ^ Dionne Searcey (28 August 2010). "Microsoft Co-Founder Launches Patent War". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved 23 October 2016. 
  21. ^ Alison Frankel (2011-06-07). "No App for That: Trolls Launch Suits against 47 App Developers". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  22. ^ Josh Lowensohn (2011-06-15). "Scoop: Bounty set for Invalidating Lodsys Patents". CNET. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  23. ^ "Article One Partners Strengthens Global Automaker Patent Claims". RedOrbit. 2010-04-12. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 

External links[edit]