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Patent Navigation co-founders James Billmaier and Charles Mirho.
Patent Navigation co-founders James Billmaier and Charles Mirho.

A new Seattle startup is coming out of stealth mode to help patent attorneys increase the quality of their work and become more efficient.

Patent Navigation this week launched TurboPatent, a cloud-based tool that automates the patent application production and prosecution process and is designed to minimize time, expenses, and mistakes for attorneys who prepare patent applications.

The idea is to allow lawyers to focus on drafting robust claims, rather than tasks like formatting or document preparation, for example. The company said it is “doing for the patent attorney what CAD did for the architect.”

“Unlike so many other professions, patent attorneys have not had an automated solution,” CEO James Billmaier said in a statement. “Think about it — no architectural or engineering firm could remain competitive without utilizing CAD tools. We want legal professionals to benefit from automation tools in the same way.”

Drawing Tool

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Patent Navigation has an experienced leadership team led by co-founders Billmaier and Charles Mirho. Billmaier was previously CEO of Melodeo, a cloud-based media platform company that sold to HP in 2010. He also teamed up with Paul Allen in 1999 to launch home-entertainment technology company Digeo, which was eventually sold in 2009 to ARRIS Group Inc.

Mirho, meanwhile, is a patent law veteran, having worked as a patent counsel at Intel and later as a managing partner of a patent law firm. He also has a computer science degree from Rutgers.

Other execs include COO Byron McCann, a veteran of the Seattle startup community who spent 17 years helping lead the Washington Technology Industry Association from 1994 to 2007; Chief Invention Officer Ed Flinchem, who helped invent the T9 predictive text input method; and VP of Engineering Ben Demboski, co-founder of the JOLT Labs startup studio in Seattle.

Patent Navigation is offering TurboPatent for free to qualified patent professionals until September. The company is self-funded to date and employs 20 at its Pioneer Square office in Seattle.

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