November 20, 2012 was a Blue Ribbon day for Lu Stasko and her Prima Research LLC, business partners: Jud Cary, Greg Beveridge and Christopher Price. After four years of waiting, investing, and anticipating, the team received its first patent – U.S. Patent 8,315,598. The simple description of the patent is “wireless technology,” but the official title of the patent is: Systems and Methods for Gathering Information about discrete wireless terminals

We are all very grateful for this wonderful accomplishment and are thankful for everyone who helped us along our journey!  The issuing of this patent is made Thanksgiving extra special this year.

Our journey actually started back in 2002 under the company name  The initial idea for our patent came from Mark Longacre, who shared his idea with Lu and asked her if she thought if it was worth a patent.  Lu not only agreed but also assembled the team that successfully filed for the first patent. The idea made it through the two rounds of examination before the patent office informed us that the National Cash Register company (NCR) received the patent on the technology just six weeks before we did.  Deflated but not defeated, we marched on.

The first call to action was to sell the assets – which included the very recognizable four letter domain name,  Our business strategist, Christopher Price, managed to strike a wonderful deal with Benchmark Venture Capital, which in turn, sold the name to Microsoft – we are assuming for a lot higher price then we got in the initial sale!

Once all assets were sold, we reorganized under the new name Prima Research, LLC in 2009.  This time our patent idea made it through all examinations and was issued.  The patent is a little challenging to describe but, we thought it would be nice to let you all in on what made November 20th our Blue Ribbon Day:

The present invention is broadly directed to systems and methods for gathering information about wireless transceiver devices in a defined boundary region. To this end, the disclosure is more particularly directed to gathering movement information (e.g., via detection and location) about two-way end-user wireless terminals within three-dimensional boundaries of defined local space (“DLS”) to allow for selective control of the terminals and other subsystems, as desired. Additionally, the data collected can be used to improve accuracy and precision regarding the prediction of behavior characteristics and tendencies of populations based on a sampling of observed terminals.

Happy Holidays to you and your families.  And remember the next time you think your idea is worth a patent – go for it!