Reflections on 2018: A letter from ClearAccessIP CEO Nicole Shanahan


2018 Was a Year of Discovery.

2019 Will be a Year of Change.

Change occurs when the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain (or fear) of change. 2018 was a big year of discovery for ClearAccessIP. We still have more work to do to see through the next wave of change in IP management and transactions.

In January, we scaled ClearAccessIP’s integrated management and patent search platform, a new category for IP related services that puts cloud automation technology at the center of the workflow. Over the past year, we attended numerous industry conferences and met with hundreds of IP professionals and IP-focused organizations. The platform received the broadest possible set of responses, ranging from clinging skepticism to “we need you now.”

We learned that engineering an AI trained on the world’s inventions is no fool’s errand but sure can feel like it at times. As of today, we have exceeded over a hundred machine learning training models. We’ve learned that applying machine learning to a corpus of inventive concepts is more alchemy than science. More grit than moxie. There is no playbook, and our engineering efforts are evolving with the bleeding edge of research in natural language AI, which means we have to be creative and resilient.

2018 was a year overflowing with activity. Between database migrations, feature releases, presentations, and industry events, I realized the importance of taking small moments to reflect on ClearAccessIP’s long-term vision to enable a free marketplace for the exchange of invention assets. It’s no small endeavor, and this year was pivotal to proving that we are on the right track.

The relevance of our mission became especially apparent in regards to U.S. – China trade relations. In June, our Director of Business Development Deepa Krishna spoke at the U.S. – China AI Tech Summit about the transformational impact AI is already having on the legal industry in streamlining workflows, enabling lower transaction costs, and improving access for organizations that today are priced out of needed services. She shared the work we are doing to bridge IP transactions between U.S. and Chinese organizations, helping make it easier for patent buyers and sellers to navigate complex negotiations with the support of our AI platform.


In furtherance of this goal, we supported the development of the The Ocean Tomo Gold Book, a web application that will launch in early 2019 to enable Chinese entities to understand and act on their IP purchasing needs abroad. This effort couldn’t come soon enough as trade tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated and IP has become a sticking point.

We are grateful for all of the big-picture thinkers that have welcomed us into their offices this year to learn more about our vision and technology. To those that can see beyond the daily grind of office actions and foreign filings and think deeply about the significance of this line of work – we raise a glass to you! I personally am inspired by you all and cannot thank you enough for dreaming about the future with us.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and visionary New Year,

Nicole Shanahan

CEO, ClearAccessIP