Generating Alpha with Trademark and Patent Data

“Find your unfair advantage, then build out from there.” This is one of the more valuable pieces of advice Tev Kofsky has ever received. These unfair advantages can be found in recognizing your unique experiences, skill sets, or networks and applying them. Co-founder of IPqwery, Tev Kofsky’s unfair advantage was his perspective. While building a Chrome extension with patent data and Trademark data, he was able to look at data through a unique lens, and think through how to repurpose data for different markets.

Fresh out of school, Tev built his first product. While working with various law firms, he created a “search and watch” software. 

IPqwery logo

This product allowed attorneys to research opportunities and protect their client from infringing on Intellectual Property.

Tev later realized that law firms weren’t the only ones who needed easy access to patent and trademark data. Corporations also needed access as to this information.

“Corporations can learn the direction of competitors and can identify an upcoming sector by looking through trademark or patent filings,” Tev explained. “Sifting through this data is also an incredible way to spur new ideas and pinpoint a potential acquisition.”

Tev and the team consisting of Mitch Schwartz, Bryan Haley, Frédérik Lacharité, Tev, as well as a few programmers were determined to bring patent data and trademark data to the masses.

Finding a Target Audience for Patent Data and Trademark Data

IPqwery was formed to become a patent data and trademark data provider not only for the traditional use case (law firms), but also for corporations, venture firms, and platforms looking to enrich their data.

When looking for ways to repurpose their data even further, IPqwery’s team started focusing on hedge funds and their new interest in “alternative data.” 

Patent Data and Trademark Data IPqwery's founder Tev Kofsky

Hedge funds were searching for means to identify data outside of typical performance metrics to help them with investment decisions.

IPqwery helps hedge funds to “gain alpha” by creating insights into upcoming technologies by aggregating patent data and trademark data, while also analyzing their own portfolios to see if they should begin diversifying their investments.

IPqwery’s Unfair Product Advantage

IPqwery’s unfair advantage extended beyond product conception as they worked through their product strategy. They created clean data feeds to build for their unfair advantage. They wanted to make sure their users wouldn’t have to sift through piles of entities, organizational hierarchy, and ambiguous names.

With IPqwery, Tev was able to empower the individual with easily accessible research. “IPqwery allows someone outside of the legal realm, to conduct the same powerful research and gain the same insights without having to know how to interpret the law!”

The Elegant Go-to-Market Strategy

The approach was level-headed and elegant. They decided to partner with already established platforms by enriching their data.

Tev and his team built a Chrome extension for easy access to their patent data and trademark database. Moreover, the IPqwery chrome extension showcased the simplicity of an integration and opened up possibilities for new potential partnerships.

They wanted to create a way to go to market very quickly to validate their product, and to gauge traction. Then users were able to go to a site like Crunchbase and use our Chrome extension to research a company, populating data in a separate window. “Initially we added to Crunchbase in a quick and easy way,” Tev added.

“We had the data, we had the API set up, and we had our backend up and running. We didn’t need to reinvent the wheel and start competing with the Crunchbase’s or the Bloomberg’s or the LinkedIn’s of the world. And we look at partnerships as a way to bring our company forward. We decided to approach Crunchbase — and the rest was history.”

Today, you can find IPqwery’s IP and Trademark data directly on Crunchbase profiles through Crunchbase Marketplace.

Favorite Joke Series

Part of our interview series, we add a joke to each piece. While this is not a joke per se, it is an excerpt from our conversation.

Q: When did you feel like you’ve made it?

A: I don’t think I ever felt “I made it!” even when I did. I wish there was a text message or like an email from Google that would let me know. Or I can just when I wake up and ask Google home or Siri, have I made it yet? And someday hear “You’ve made it! Go back to sleep.” – or something like that . . .

  • Originally published July 17, 2018, updated April 26, 2023