Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Assessing a country as a relocation option"

Note Bank of America's published patent application 20080103804 (11/923186, filed 24 Oct. 2007), titled COUNTRY ASSESSMENT, first claim:

A method, comprising:
selecting a country;
analyzing country data relating to the country;
generating at least one category relating to the country;
generating a reward score for the country based at least in part on the country data and the at least one category; and
generating a risk score for the country based at least in part on country data and the at least one category.

Dependent claim 3 is of interest:

The method of claim 2, where the generating a geographic model is electrically generated.

So is claim 4:

The method of claim 3, where the generating the generating the geographic model is accessible over a computer network.

The published application gives for correspondence: BANNER & WITCOFF, LTD;ATTORNEYS FOR CLIENT NUMBER 007131.

Query: what was that Intellectual Ventures was saying about "upper quartile" law firms?

In Sept. 2008, claim 3 was amended so that "electrically" became --electronically--. Of greater interest, the abstract was amended to change "assessing a country as a relocation option" to --an alternative work location--. New matter?

The amendments became more interesting.

Paragraph 3 was amended to delete certain text from the as-filed paragraph 3, which reads:

Many business entities face increasing costs associated with managing, operating, and sustaining their business operations and managing their employees. A business entity may face difficulties in providing an employee with a competitive employment package. Typically, business entities must fiercely compete in their industry to provide attractive salaries and benefits to employees or the business entity will face low attrition rates and significant employee turnover. Many highly skilled employees and employees having unique skills may demand attractive employment packages.

It is an exercise for the IPBiz reader to determine what was deleted.

Initially filed paragraph 4 [below] was also amended:

Business entities have considered many solutions to improve employee attrition rates and decrease the financial strain of a competitive employee market. A typical American employee demands a high salary, good benefits, a good work environment, vacation time, and other job-related perks such as reimbursement for higher education. These job-related perks are expensive and may not be cost-effective for the business entity. A business entity is forced to commit significant resources to employ an American work force and may often find that the demands of American employees far exceed the allotted budget.

Initially filed paragraph 40 [below] was also amended:

In reference to FIG. 2, a method of assessing a country is illustrated. The country assessment may generate a geographic model, at step 200. The geographic model may assess a relocation option for a line of business. The relocation option may include a country, city, time zone, and the like. The line of business may wish to assess more than one country as a relocation option (not shown). For example, a line of business may be considering relocating its operations to a Spanish-speaking country. The line of business may select Mexico and Spain as the countries it wishes to assess and may generate one geographic model for Mexico and another geographic model for Spain.

The amendment is of interest. The words "a Spanish speaking country" became --a country that speaks Language S.--
The words "Mexico and Spain" became --Country M and Country S (that predominantly speak Language S)--

Initially filed paragraph 49 [below] was also amended:

Many relocation options experience trends in weather and may suffer several consecutive years and/or seasons in which the weather is severe. For example, the Philippines may experience one typhoon during a first season and ten typhoons during a second season. The Philippines' internal perspective 300 may be negatively affected by the increased number of typhoons. The line of business may consider the internal perspective 300 without completely understanding the short, mid-range, and long term effects that the typhoons had on the Philippines and may refrain from investing and/or considering the Philippines as a relocation option as a result. Further, the line of business may also reconsider a relocation option in which it already invested resources and/or in which it already initiated manufacturing or operations and possibly lost confidence in its decision to proceed with analyzing a country as a relocation option.

Initially-filed paragraph 68 [below], of some interest because of recent events in Mumbai, was also amended:

Multi-country BCP strategy 410 includes any desired strategy to diversify risk to a line of business during a country assessment. In the example described above, a viable location for BCP of India-centric Global Delivery operations may include a country that may assist a line of business in maintaining stable operations during a disaster or crisis. For example, a multi-country BCP strategy 410 may identify the Philippines as a viable country in which to diversity risk for a line of business that has recently relocated to India. The line of business may identify the Philippines as an excellent country from which to base its operations in the event that a disaster, such as a natural disaster or an outbreak of violence, occurs in India and interrupts the operations of the line of business in India.

Initially-filed paragraph 75 [below] was also amended:

Religious tensions may consider whether the country imposes undesirable policies such as civil dissent that may disintegrate into civil war and unacceptable civil rights policies. Religious tensions may also consider the potential for a religious group to obtain power of the government or to replace civil law with religious law. External conflicts may consider the risk to the incumbent government of foreign action, ranging from non-violent external pressure such as diplomatic pressures, withholding of aid, trade restrictions, territorial disputes, sanctions, and the like, to violent external pressure such as cross-border conflicts and war.

The USPTO status of this case is "ready for examination."

Pending the USPTO evaluation of this monumental application, think about No Outsourcing Here: Jobs That Are Staying Put.


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