IPWatch Systems Corporation

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February 13, 2017 Issue



SaaS Based Intellectual Property Research, Management, Enforcement and Search Tools allowing Organizations to Protect Trademarks, Patents, Copyrights, Domain Names and Trade Secrets



Sean Collin

Founder & Chief Executive Officer


IPWatch Systems Corporation


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – February 13, 2017


CEOCFO: Mr. Collin, you recently renamed as IPWatch Systems Corp®. Would you tell us about that?

Mr. Collin: We did a name change to IPWatch Systems Corp early in the year. The idea behind it is that we are utilizing big data and big data systems in order to enable companies to select, manage and protect brands.


CEOCFO: Day-to-day, what does that mean?

Mr. Collin: Day-to-day that means that you have twenty two million businesses in the United States; all of them have only three absolute commonalities. One is that they have to file for a federal tax ID number, two is they have to register to do business in some state and three is they have to pick a name. Therefore, you have twenty two million American businesses that all have a name. The vast majority of those businesses do not protect that name or clear that name before they go ahead and register it. Therefore, the majority of businesses are flying blind when it comes to whether or not they are potentially or inadvertently infringing someone else or, more importantly in some ways, whether or not they are actually able to build goodwill around that name for their business.


CEOCFO: Why has that fallen under the radar screen for most people?

Mr. Collin: It falls under the radar screen because historically the ability of companies or businesses to get access to the data is difficult. In other words, you have an industry in terms of IP management and protection that is highly fragmented and very expensive. As a result, most companies or businesses starting up or even those in existence are very reluctant to spend money in an unknown fashion on an opaque process they do not understand. The major players in the industry right now would be Thomson and CorSearch. They are both part of massive, multibillion dollar companies. The process is that you go ahead and make a phone call to them and order a search on a brand or you could send an email and order a search on a brand and they are going to take somewhere between four hours and a week to get you those search results. The cost would be anything from six hundred dollars to thirty five hundred dollars to do it. It is going to take a long time and it is going to cost a lot of money. Even knowing where to look in order to facilitate the process is very challenging for most business people. It is mainly handled by lawyers as opposed to brand managers or entrepreneurs.


CEOCFO: How do you handle the situation for people?

Mr. Collin: We have a SaaS platform, an online platform and they go to our platform and they type in the name that they are interested in searching. Our system runs anything from a few seconds to a few minutes and displays results in a graphical form using dials as well in a form using words and statistics and shows them whether or not that mark would be firstly available to register in the US federally or on a state basis and also whether it is weak or strong from a branding standpoint. Therefore, functionally it is an instantaneous process. Our system is only as slow as one of the fifty Secretary of State’s offices’ computer lets us type in and ask for the information. Our costs are right now on a subscription basis, but they are a fraction of the existing costs that are out there. Our goal is to provide information to business people, brand managers and lawyers that they can then utilize to make far more effective business decisions and to allocate resources around goodwill and brand development in a very intelligent fashion. It is handing the power back to the hands of the entrepreneur or business person or lawyer to really be able to make intelligent decisions about the process.


CEOCFO: How do you decide whether the brand would make a potential good marketable brand? What are you using to come up with that recommendation or that potential?

Mr. Collin: Our system that we have devised is based on big data. We actually go out into the world and we search all of the databases that are available that would help make a determination, including the web. Therefore, with a brand what you want is a brand which is not heavily used by someone else. You want it to be very distinctive. You want to make sure your domain names are available. You want to make sure that you can register at the USPTO. Therefore, we go out and search all of those records simultaneously, aggregate the results using our technology and then provide a report. We break it down by the source that we have searched, but it is broken down in terms of relevancy by algorithms. Therefore, we have taken my almost thirty years of working globally in brand management and law and built that into the algorithms. However, from a technical standpoint we actually always will get the right result, because we have a computer and computers are pretty straightforward. They do exactly what you tell them to do. Therefore, we are not making determinations that are illegal in nature. We are providing people with data that is organized in an orderly fashion. Then once they see the strength or weakness and the availability then they can go to their counsel and say, “Okay, how do we go about protecting this and how do we go about enforcing this?”


CEOCFO: Is your system designed for onetime use or would businesses turn to you continuously? Who is using it? 

Mr. Collin: Our system is designed, unlike the existing ones out there, to be really focused on providing information to business people. Our goal is to provide that information that allows them to at least make preliminary determinations about what brand or name to select. Therefore, the customer we are looking at indeed would be service providers and law firms. However, most of our existing customers; and we have some very large corporations that we represent, are in house counsel or brand managers and marketing people. How they would do it right now is on a subscription basis, but in the future we are going to offer it on a one time basis through a true SaaS model. The way that trademark law works in the United States is it is never supposed to be a onetime event, because the Lanham Act and the Interpretation Lanham Act from case law requires there to be policing done. One of the uses of our system is that once you decide to choose a brand you can tick a box and we will continue to watch that brand for you monthly and send you automated updates on any third parties that could also be using that brand, which would end up being infringers to you. Therefore, in a fact we try to partner with the business to make sure that not only is the brand that they are selecting strong and available in the first instance, but also going forward in the future we are helping them maintain that brand and proving the data necessary to meet the legal requirements for their counsel to do so as well.


CEOCFO:  How have you reached out? How will you continue to reach out?

Mr. Collin: So far we are a three year old company and we are effectively emerging from beta. We have seven figures in revenue, so it is a good beta. However, effectively we are invisible. We have done that on purpose, because we wanted to really create; I guess the best example would be to say, a consumer version of our products. Therefore, we have been working with in house legal departments and brand managers and others in large public companies, law firms and very discriminating users of the systems, to try to refine it to where it is most understandable and useful to consumers. We are getting close. By the end of this quarter we will be our third release. That third release will be for consumers and ready to mass market or as they say, blow it out; effectively scale. We are about to start that process. Recently, you may have seen our press release. We brought over three of the four top executives from Verizon’s western division; a seventeen billion dollar division of Verizon. Their CFO is now our CFO. Their Chief Marketing Officer is now our Chief Marketing Officer. Their, what I call, the head of data, but effectively he was customer relations experience as far as utilizing web sites and data for Verizon, is now our Chief Client Experience Officer. They are all part of my management team now. They are going to help us with our scaling process. Therefore, we are heavily involved in selecting the right channels, but effectively be available online to consumers, as a one off as you indicated, and also on a subscription. However, our model really is one that we are trying to partner with businesses to help them to maintain and grow their business utilizing brands. That is really where we are at. We are trying to revolutionize the industry, not only in providing information in real time and more accurately, but also give them a cost point that every business in America can afford. We are disruptive, not only in terms of quality and in terms of speed, but also in terms of price. That is the process. Therefore, within the next two and a half months we will have all that online and available and look forward to people utilizing it.


CEOCFO: With many things needing attention, particularly with a new company or a new product or new name, how do you get noticed?

Mr. Collin: There are multiple ways to do it. We are talking to significant public company channel partners right now, to market through their existing distribution channels. That is one way. Channel partners are definitely on the agenda and we are in negotiations with three of four that are non-competing right now. Two; we are have been, through my speaking and writing articles, very involved with a number of organizations that are in this space; the brand and legal space. Therefore, we look to advertise through them at conventions and booths and so on, to try to get the word out. We already have been successful in terms of having articles place in those; not paid for but earned, articles and speeches in that area, so that is another opportunity. Another one really is that we have data sets. The reality is that we know who out there needs us in terms of who is big trouble with third parties. We have that data in real time every day and we could do direct marketing and say, “Look, we know you are in trouble; if you use this system it will help you.” How to market that in a way that does not seem offensive or predatory is a question, how to do that is something that our marketing team is working on. However, the idea is to be proactive and helpful to people and have a reputation for that. We want to be a problem solver. We are a solutions provider and we want to market through channels that allow us to display effectively and efficiently that profile. We are not trying to profit maximize. We are trying to provide price points and quality that other people will recognize. I guess the last one is that there are great statistics out there and I encourage you to look at The Economist magazine and Fortune magazine. I am happy send over some recent quotes from there, but if you look at the value of brands as a proportion of balance sheets of businesses over the last decade there is tremendous growth. We are talking about one hundred and forty six percent growth. We are talking about the massive growth and the value of brands because of the boom associated with ecommerce, because of the web, because of the reality of global marketing through the web. When I say brands, I also mean domain names, to be clear. We have technology that is unique to the world. For example, one of them is that we have a piece of technology that you type in the name of the domain you are thinking about and we can pull up all of the domains in the world that are utilizing that same term, which is not available anywhere else. We are talking about helping people make decisions for business, both domestically and globally. By the way, our system is designed to work globally. It is just a question of us continuing to acquire data sets. Therefore, our near term goal is to establish our company as a global player to help businesses to be effective in global trade, utilizing ecommerce through domain names and brands. Therefore, I think that the noise factor is going to be greatly assisted by the fact that CFOs, CEOs, entrepreneurs and in house counsel really do have an understanding of the value of their brands more and more and that it is going to necessarily drive them to solutions. We have a unique solution set, so we just need to get in front of the right people.


CEOCFO: Do you find that when you are talking to the right people they recognize the depth of what you are providing around brands?

Mr. Collin: Absolutely and instantly! We have about seventy-five clients right now and that ranges from Fortune 10 companies down. It has been uniform with that reaction. There is a wow factor for those that understand the market now. There is a wow factor for those that have never seen how to manage brands. That is because they say, “I had no idea I can just do this instantly,” because you could not. Therefore, the wow factor works both ways. For those that have a comparison there is a wow factor and for those that have no comparison there is a wow factor. We are also counting on that. That is a good question, you are alluding to that. Yes, I think that is going to part of our ability to get traction in the market once we hit it hard relatively quickly, because it does have that unique element of, “Gosh, I can use this tool set,” and that has been the case. I have not had anyone that I have pitched that has not said yes. The level of contract we have monetarily ranges from a few hundred dollars a month to many thousands of dollars a month, depending upon the volumes of use of our systems. However, people have always said yes. That does not mean that I am going to continue to enjoy that degree of product acceptance. I wish I could! However, as we scale obviously, there are going to be different challenges verses me going up and making a pitch to someone. However, I do believe that the wow factor is going to be a huge, huge help in that regard.


CEOCFO: What, if anything, do people miss when they first look at IPWatch Systems?

Mr. Collin: They miss the comprehensiveness of our technology, because they do not understand the power of big data. To back up a little bit; it is very important to understand that we are architected and functioned as a big data company. Therefore, our engine which we built from scratch and our search engine and our management engine; patent pending I will add, are very unique. They have solved problems in managing big data period. Therefore, we have applied that technology to brand management that is equally applicable to ecommerce, supply chain management, any number of medical record management. We have product imbedded in those various types of companies that have nothing to do with brand management. Therefore, I think people miss the enormity of what we have built as far as a big data management tool. I think they miss out on the advantage of using big data to solve problems, so I think that is probably the number one issue that we have, which is the understanding that we can search one billion and a half records in seconds. That is a hard concept for people to get their minds around. If you took a normal person with a piece of paper or a screen, in a few seconds or a few minutes what are they going to be able to look at? It is going to be, at best a few hundred. We are talking about more than one billion and a half or more. Those are hard things just to fathom. You can understand if we can do that how we create more accurate results, because we are doing that. We are looking at all those records. I think that is what is missed most; that and the fact that we have some product categories that allow people to manage brands in very unique ways. For example, we have reputation management products. We have reverse engineered what counterfeiters are doing on the web and what porn sites do on the web to attract traffic to themselves that they should not attract. In other words, how to get someone to mistakenly go there, entice them to go there and how they are misusing ordinary people’s brands to do it. We have figured how they do it, technologically reverse engineered it and we have a unique technology that allows people to track and monitor without attracting attention to themselves in a bad way, if their brands are being counterfeited or used by porn sites to attract people. Therefore, we have a unique set of products there. We have a unique set of products in terms of build and search brand use by zip code area. We go all the way down, kind of like the satellite Google Maps. You can keep drilling down and we can drill down to as small as a single zip code in terms of what brands are being used in the area. There are many applications from the standpoint of potential business leads under commercial uses of our technology that we know clients are doing that we do not really market. There is a lot out there that we are just in the nascent days of figuring out we can utilize all this data and our algorithms are a really good way. We are learning too. We are constantly learning as our clients tell us, “Hey Sean, did you realize you can do X,Y and Z with this,” and I say, “No, I had no idea! That is pretty clever!” However, they are using our systems in new and creative ways. That is all based on big data.


CEOCFO: Stay tuned for more from IPWatch Systems Corp?

Mr. Collin: Absolutely, stay tuned!



“Our goal is to provide information to business people, brand managers and lawyers that they can then utilize to make far more effective business decisions and to allocate resources around goodwill and brand development in a very intelligent fashion. It is handing the power back to the hands of the entrepreneur or business person or lawyer to really be able to make intelligent decisions about the process.”- Sean Collin


IPWatch Systems Corporation







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