IP Street regains momentum after dormant period
Product development head joined company in FebruaryDecember 1st, 2016
IP Street Holdings LLC’s head of product development says the patent-data software analysis company here is getting back on its feet.
IP Street Holdings is co-owned by Lakeside Capital Group LLC, of Spokane, and the Cowles Co., which owns the Journal of Business. IP Street Inc.’s original co-founders aren’t affiliated with IP Street Holdings, and the original company was dissolved at the beginning of 2015.
Both Cowles Co. and Lakeside Capital provided financial backing for IP Street from its inception, says Steve Rector, chief financial officer of Cowles Co.
In February, IP Street Holdings hired Reed Jessen to improve upon the company’s software.
“It was dormant for a while, but we’re making money again,” Jessen says.
IP Street’s software is designed to provide inventors, attorneys, and business executives the ability to analyze complex patent data and make sense of what can be densely-worded patent documents that are frequently hundreds of pages in length.
The company was co-founded in 2010 by Lewis Lee, who also co-founded and is a partner in the Spokane-based intellectual property law firm Lee & Hayes PLLC. Jessen previously worked as an analyst for Lee & Hayes before accepting his current position at IP Street in February, he says.
“I’m very familiar with IP Street’s product because the Web application at Lee & Hayes was one I used all day every day,” Jessen says.
Jessen declines to reveal the company’s annual revenues except to say the company is once again making a profit. “We’re taking on more customers and revenue is positive,” he says.
He also declines to disclose the names of companies that subscribe to IP Street’s service.
Subscription rates vary widely for customers. A researcher at a university or college might pay $500 per month, while a patent law firm might pay $1,800 to $3,000 per month for the cloud-based services. It’s not uncommon for large Wall Street companies to pay “hundreds of thousands” per month for access to IP Street’s cloud-based service, Jessen says.
IP Street occupies 1,000 square feet of space on the main floor of the 1023 West Riverside Building downtown. The building, now owned by Cowles Real Estate Co., previously was called the Chancery Building, says Deanne Darlene, Cowles Real Estate building and real estate manager.
IP Street has two employees and contracts with Foretheta LLC, of Spokane, for software development services.
“We’re quite lean, and the owners want to keep it that way,” Jessen says. “We don’t need a lot of people to do what we do.”
Jessen says he spent his first month on the job studying IP Street’s software.
The company’s original software was programmed to sort and aggregate more than 7 million cloud-based patent records that have been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office since 1976.
The idea for IP Street originally evolved from a project that Lee & Hayes was involved in with a big Wall Street bank in 2005, Lewis Lee told the Journal for a story that appeared five years ago.
Jessen says now, “They built a great product that quantifies information treating patents as an asset class. The algorithms they developed are profoundly good.”
What IP Street’s software lacked, however, was an ability to be better suited to customer need, he says.
“What we’ve been doing since my initial month here is creating higher degrees of customization for users,” Jessen says.
“As a product subscriber, you can now use Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel with our software. Integration is kind of the word of the moment, and we needed to do that with the software to make it more familiar to our customers. The software can now be integrated for use by some of the largest companies on Earth,” says Jessen.