Office Locations: London (UK), Munich (Germany), New York (USA), Washington DC (USA)
Inception of Minesoft
Minesoft is a family-run business that started as an ideal way to combine Ann Chapman’s and her husband Ophir Daniel’s unique skillsets within sci-tech publishing and web development.
Initially, they worked closely with Questel-Orbit and Research Business Information (RBI Inc) before branching out with their products in the first decade of 2000.
We had the pleasure of talking to Ann Chapman and Ophir Daniel about Minesoft. Below is an excerpt from the interview.
What are your company offerings? How have consumer responses shaped them over the years?
Minesoft is an innovative online patent solutions provider offering its products and services to national patent offices, professional search firms, patent attorney firms, academic institutions, and many Fortune 500/FTSE 100 companies around the world. Solutions and services include patent search and analysis, patent monitoring, competitive intelligence systems, knowledge management systems, and more.
Whether it is a small or big update, Minesoft often collaborates with clients to build new solutions or adapt to suit user preferences. For example, the knowledge management platform, Pat-KM was built because there was a demand from legal professionals for a solution to foster collaboration and centralize patent information internally. Also, more recently, a big update was added to the document delivery platform, PatDocs, to expand the translation tool.
Every business, big or small, gets its fair share of challenges, especially during the initial days. Tell us what were your challenges and how you managed to overcome them.
We started from scratch, around the kitchen table, with an overriding desire to remain profitable. Despite not taking on outside investment, we have grown the company every single year for 25 years and now have clients all over the globe – in every corner, but especially in advanced manufacturing countries where patenting is crucial to secure intellectual property and sell goods abroad.
Right from day one, we competed with large international corporations as well as with small firms like ours – firms that had specialized in their sector and managed to carve out niche expertise and win clients over. These firms started in a very small way as a supplier in some big companies, but today they take their products globally and are among our largest clients.
What would you say are the factors that have contributed to your success as an organization?
Search platforms should be built for users, with input from users, irrespective of what background these user communities have. Minesoft strives to strike the balance between development cycles while listening to clients’ feedback. If their clients have ideas about how Minesoft can further help them, they will do so. Even if the benefit is focused on a particular vertical market segment.
Minesoft enjoys one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry and this helps them maintain continuity with client relationships and product and market insight. As well as this, the Executive Board has different skillsets and strengths, therefore complementing one another and bringing different perspectives to the table. There is some crossover, but no one could replace someone else or operate in another person’s sphere fully.
Where do you see your company a few years from now?
Minesoft is in good shape and has a great team to take the company further and faster in the upcoming years. They recently launched a new patent Search Engine and will continue working on it in the following few years to develop some neat new functionality in areas like natural language searching, instant faceting of millions of documents, and semantics.
Minesoft will also develop the area of automated translations and landscaping analysis. Artificial Intelligence is a big buzzword in the Online Publishing Industry at present and the team is designing new ideas in this area to further automate and streamline our products. They host about 160 million patent (sci-tech) documents right now and this is increasing every week. Such a large body of research material needs to be made accessible to companies who are working to pioneer new solutions.
How has your journey been so far?
Established in 1996, Minesoft quickly gained market traction due to its innovative patent information products. Together Minesoft & RWS launched PatBase, a searchable database of patent documents designed by experts in the complex art of patent information research. Since its inception in 2003, PatBase has attracted over 70,000 users worldwide.
Since 2000, Minesoft has expanded its portfolio of innovative patent information products to include PatBase Express, PatentOrder, PatDocs, IPShare, PatentTracker, Legal StatusTracker, CiteTracker, Chemical Explorer, Pat-KM, APIs, and PatBase Analytics. And the company has established its own offices in the UK, Germany, and the USA – with additional dedicated representatives representing every corner of the globe.
In 2009 and again in 2015, Minesoft won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for outstanding achievement in rapidly growing export markets in the field of Intellectual Property (patent) Information. In 2019, Minesoft received national and international awards for Best Overall Company of the year (Regional Chamber of Commerce) as well as Legal Tech Company of the Year from ACQ5.
Knowing The Essence And Core Of Minesoft
Ann Chapman & Ophir Daniel
Ann Chapman started her career at a big international publishing company (International Thomson, later Thomson Reuters) and was sent all over the world to visit clients and secure business. After six years, Chapman moved to a US publishing company (Ziff Davies Group) in the field of business information (companies and markets). She then returned to patents and sci-tech publishing with France Telecom Group spending three years there as a Director and Managing Director.
Soon after becoming a mother, Ann Chapman and her husband Ophir Daniel took the plunge to establish their own company, Minesoft. Daniel was at the time programming in the early Internet era after starting life in Israel, working in Aviation. They decided to combine their skills and were lucky to be given a distribution and development deal by France Telecom, and a small initial loan that started them off.
“We offer an array of products for the patent information industry, specializing in patent searching, IP document retrieval, patent analytics, and competitive intelligence systems.”