Exclusive Patent Rights to Eliminate Phantom Data
By design, exclusive patent rights are at the core of DFM Data Corp’s ability to serve DFMs. Removing duplicated load and capacity data from multiple DFM platforms is defined and described by US Patent: 7,755,518: “Dynamic, and predictive information systems and method for shipping assets and transport”. Any company who intends to help the industry with the phantom data problem would need to secure the rights to be authorized to do it. What we proposed to the patent owner and inventor, Michael Darden, was that of course a company could be created to serve as the data clearinghouse. (Certainly multiple companies saw the business opportunity.) But the solution requires ALL to participate for ANY to benefit. And, there is urgency. The phantom data only gets worse with time. So, obviously, only one company can occupy the role of central data clearinghouse. Only EXCLUSIVE patent rights can bring the industry together.
Michael Darden is so passionate about the mission to accelerate adoption and grow market share for DFMs, that when a DFM becomes a member in common interest with other DFMs and commits to anonymous data-sharing via our platform, he will ensure that they are relieved of any risk or concern regarding patent rights.
Way back in 2004, before the technology existed to do it, Michael Darden foresaw both the idea of dynamic load matching and the need to remedy the phantom data issue when eventually multiple companies would be providing dynamic freight matching services. He actually established the first DFM company, Power2Ship, more than 15 years ago. Then, he worked on another one, created in collaboration with Craig Fuller in 2010, which was instantly sold to US Express. (That was a full five years before the Coyote Logistics acquisition by UPS). Today, of course, the technology has fully caught up with the idea. There are now more than 200 companies doing digital freight matching, representing many different business and revenue models, and market positions.
As Michael saw the industry taking off, he made an inspired decision to not pursue royalties from the industry, because he knew it would inevitably just make things harder for DFMs, while making a bunch of lawyers rich. He realized that there is almost no chance of all of the DFMs coming together as an industry on their own to solve the phantom data issue. And, he knew the more time goes by, the bigger the phantom data problem would become. He recognized that, if this is going to get done any time soon, there would need to be a company created that functions as a neutral utility, serving all DFMs as a data clearinghouse. That’s where DFM Data Corp comes into play—we help Michael monetize his patent. Instead of paying royalties, DFMs receive value-added services.