GoodIP founders Linus Kohl, Bastian July and Sebastian Hugl (from the left)
Photo: GoodIP

GoodIP: Patent Evaluation With Artificial Intelligence

GoodIP analyzes and evaluates company patents by using artificial intelligence. The aim is to make it possible to gain an objective overview of existing intellectual property (IP). The founders talk about their startup

Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourselves!

GoodIP: Hello, we’re Dr. Bastian July, Sebastian Hugl and Linus Kohl, the founders of GoodIP. With help from artificial intelligence, we make patents easily and objectively assessable. In turn, we make it possible for companies to find out if they’re properly equipped for the future.

The three of us come from completely different fields: Bastian is a patent attorney in Germany and New York and used to work for Lantiq (now Intel), McDermont Will & Emery and Osram. Sebastian already founded his own company while studying business administration and engineering and helped establish the logistics market at Proglove. Linus has a background in software and machine learning with a focus on natural language processing. He too has already founded companies, the most recent for research and development with customers from the public and private sector. In the meantime, he was the head of software development in different startups.

The three of us met while we were all working for different startups in Munich. Bastian and Linus met through the LMU accelerator program and Sebastian came into the picture through Proglove. The idea of making a complex topic like patents accessible to anyone by using AI is something we were excited about from the very beginning. Which is why we founded GoodIP completely from scratch. We’ve now built an interdisciplinary team to break down the subject of patents even further.

Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?

GoodIP: Until now, it’s only been possible for people to evaluate patents, meaning based purely on subjective assessment as well as many other soft factors. If you suddenly have a pile of 562 patents with 15 pages each, it’s basically impossible for people to make an objective, rational and efficient evaluation.

We make it possible for our customers to quickly and objectively analyze their own patent portfolio, that of their competitors or a potential investment target with help from artificial intelligence. We do so by breaking down every single patent into fragments to gather all of the necessary information. In the end, our customers receive information about whether the analyzed company is truly future-proof and about how good the previous investments in patents really were. Moreover, we recategorize the entire patent portfolio so everyone truly understands what it contains and how good it actually is.

GoodIP: Companies don’t understand the value of their patents

Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!

Bastian July: IP evaluation has been around for decades, there’s no doubt about that. The fundamental idea remains the same. Every company asks itself: “Are we safeguarded for the future?” With current evaluations, it wasn’t possible for a person to answer that question for two reasons: A patent attorney is a human being, which means they aren’t objective. Moreover, it takes a person a long time to evaluate thousands of patents. This is where artificial intelligence comes in. It objectively evaluates the patents and makes it possible for companies to understand their patents in detail so they can make faster and more effective business decisions based on patents.

Sebastian Hugl: I also think that if the concept we’ve developed had already existed in this form, then the current demand wouldn’t be as high as it is and every executive would already know what their company’s patents mean and would have gotten rid of their expensive patent attorneys. At the same time, it’s fascinating but above all alarming to see how many companies have their patents just “lying around” in their annual balance without understanding their actual value.

Munich Startup: Was there a point when you nearly failed?

Linus Kohl: That depends on what fail means. I think every startup gets to a point where everything seems impossible or overwhelming and you consider just scrapping everything and starting all over from scratch. From experience, a lot of startups fail due to conflicts in the team. Working together is an important aspect for us and we agree on how to approach major issues and goals. We overcome every problem that comes up together. To give an example, we unfortunately lost a big project right at the beginning of the corona pandemic. But it was precisely that situation that gave us a reality check and led to the development of our new, AI-driven product. In the end, that was the decisive factor that helped us acquire new customers and increase our sales figures.

“The startup community in Munich is very big and the city is very international”

Munich Startup: How is business going?

GoodIP: Business is going well despite things being difficult for the economy at the moment. We started the first quarter with above average figures – that much we can tell you. We’re really grateful for that, because it shows us that the hard work is paying off. At the moment, we’re working with American companies and German SMEs that would like to pave their way towards digitization. But the year has just begun and we still have a lot planned.

Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?

GoodIP: Munich is home to many large international companies that are open to new ideas, and the city attracts young people from around the world. The startup community in Munich is very large and the city is very international, which we think is great.

Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?

GoodIP: Definitely staying power! Building a company from the ground up is always a marathon and not a sprint. That makes staying power the crucial factor. It took a long time for us to get to where we are now. And to see that we’ve not only survived during this difficult time, but are actually growing confirms that we’re doing the right thing and makes us of proud of what we’ve already achieved.