The Loci Platform — A Practical Guide & Case Study
By Allan Ewart
I’ve written this article both as a genuine user of the platform, but also as a contractual obligation as a Loci Ambassador as part of the Loci Ambassador program. I am also a token holder in so far as it was necessary to purchase LOCIcoin tokens in order to make full use of the platform. Please also read the disclaimer at the foot of this article.
Imagine that you’ve just come up with an idea. You’ve worked hard on it, spent countless hours over months refining it through trial and error. You’ve finally succeeded in creating an invention. Yay!
So, what do you do now?
In the back of your mind you have this vague notion of the need to “patent” your new invention in order to protect it somehow. But where do you begin? If like me you’re not a seasoned pro at being an inventor, you might not necessarily be well versed in the legalities surrounding Intellectual Property (IP) either, or know where to begin with a patent application. So, your thought process might go something like this.
I’ll just get a patent lawyer who knows about this stuff and get him or her to deal with it. Yeah right, then you discover how much they charge. Unless you’ve already made your millions or have some rich aunt who loves you and believes in your idea, that unlikely scenario probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon. So, what now?
Ok, I guess I’m just going to have to do it myself. So, your first stop might be Google. Then you discover just what a minefield it is and realise that this isn’t going to be as easy as you first thought. In fact my initial enthusiasm for this patent business is beginning to wane already.
In my experience, if an idea starts out problematic and difficult, then it’s probably not worth pursuing. However, the fomentation of the DYOR App idea just flowed, although it initially took about two months to write and define, everything about it seemed to just flow out easily. When that happens you know you could be on to something. So, I went with it.
Fortuitously, at about the same time, I discovered Loci.
What is Loci?
Loci is a classic example of an innovative real world use case for Blockchain technology, smart contracts and cryptocurrency combined within an easy to use platform that provides a central location to facilitate easy, quick and low cost Intellectual Property search, and a whole lot more.
From the whitepaper:
Loci is a “Platform for Intellectual Property Discovery & Mining” and whose mission statement is to…
“Change the way the world invents and values ideas… Our goal is to become the gold standard platform that empowers inventors and promotes the effective matchmaking of ideas, capital and talent.”
The mission encompasses:
• Creation of a revolutionary invention process that enables innovators to better find and claim their ideas using blockchain technology;
• Utilisation of native tokens for the creation, buying and selling of intellectual property and to become a cryptocurrency that will become the standard valuation metric of all intellectual property;
• Development of commercialization vehicles for development or licensing of inventions;
• Building of an IP bidding marketplace to create an EBay of intellectual property;
• Construction of mechanisms and social networks to incentivize and make development easier;
• Deployment of an innovative economic model that fosters the growth of inventor eco-system;
Loci Versus Patent Agent
What is IP
That’s all well and good in theory, but what about in practice?
DYOR App on the LOCI Blockchain — A Practical Use case
The best way to answer that question is to show you how easily and quickly I put the DYOR App idea on the Loci Blockchain via the live Loci Search platform. First, here’s an infographic outlining the general workflow followed by the basic steps I took below:
Ready? Fasten your seat belts and get your popcorn (or whatever blows your hair back).
Let’s do this!
A — Sign up to Loci Search
Signup for a free account at: https://locisearch.com/welcome
Verify your email and login.
B — Start a New Project
Start a New Project to keep track of your searches and saved results sets. Give your new project a name.
C — Start an Invention
You begin the process of submitting your invention via a set of pages containing a series of text input boxes to enable you to provide your basic info.
Provide Basic Info — Title, Authors. Short Description
Describe Your Idea
Now at this stage, in hindsight I could have, and perhaps should have done things a little bit differently than I did. I was so overly keen to learn how to actually put the idea on the blockchain that I skipped the last two sections. Namely the Composition and the End Result. However, I did have valid reasons for doing so.
The main reason was that the DYOR App involves a series of tables containing categories of questions and weightings and so on, so there was no way to input these tables and present them in a coherent fashion, as the input fields are currently text only. I contacted the dev team via the handy feedback portal inside the platform and asked them about the possibility of having rich text fields.
When it comes to inventions in a patent process they often include technical diagrams, images and tables etc. Indeed, quoting a section of the Loci whitepaper:
“One of the major components required for a patent application through the USPTO includes:
Technical specifications, including a summary of the invention, and schematic mock-ups or concept drawings”
But of course it needs to be stressed at this juncture that the Loci platform is not for actually filing patent applications although it is similar to starting a provisional patent application that can be used by a patent lawyer as a basis for one. And it is geared towards facilitating a streamlined search process as well as a marketplace for ideas.
So, whereas it might be a requirement to provide schematic mock-ups or concept drawings in a patent application, it is not necessarily required for a search platform, although it would be desirable from the point of view of monetising an idea by offering it up for sale.
The dev team responded quickly to my request and were very helpful and assured me they were on the case regarding that, and of course very appreciative of the feedback. However, at this time I believe the rich text fields are still in development and currently in progress. Hopefully, if it is possible, it will be a feature included in the platform moving forward. If I get an update on that I will post it here.
Moving on, once you’ve input the text relating to your invention, you can check that the status is “In Progress” via the dashboard which looks like this:
The next step is to “Run an Analysis”:
D— Run an Analysis
You can do this by simply clicking the “Analyze Now” button:
When you run an analsys, this provides you with a list of prior art documents relating to inventions already out there that may or may not be similar to yours in some way. This allows you to refine your invention on the platform by reviewing potential similarities and differences of these other inventions.
This is the point where some Loci magic happens.
The Loci algorithm goes to work on your invention by comparing it with the other prior art out there and provides you with a ‘Loci Score’ to categorise it in terms of uniqueness.
Once the system carries out the analysis, you are presented with a screen where you are given the opportunity to unlock the analysis:
So, this is where it told me my score falls into the GOOD range meaning my idea (as I’ve described it) is very unique (initially it was novel).
E - Unlock the Analysis
When you click on the “Unlock This Analysis” button, this is where the business model comes into play and you are asked to pay the fee in LOCI Tokens:
Now, before we hit the Pay now button we’re going to need some LOCIcoin in our account, so once we’ve got some we’ll come back to this point a little bit later. But first we need to purchase some LOCI tokens.
F — Buy & Transfer LOCI Tokens
To do this we simply choose the Locicoin Store option from the menu on the left of the dashboard (or on the right) and we arrive at this screen:
Here, we can Buy, Deposit or Withdraw
We need some tokens. So this can either be done by transferring some tokens in to our wallet if we already have some, or we can purchase some tokens directly within the platform by choosing from the options given.
I bought some on the secondary market via an exchange as that option was somewhat cheaper than purchasing within the platform. So, all I had to do now was deposit to my wallet on the platform.
Personally, I would have preferred a more straight forward method of simply sending the tokens from MyEtherWallet to my wallet address on the platform. But in this case, the only way to transfer them in is via MetaMask which needs to be installed as a browser extension in either Chrome or Brave.
If you haven’t already you can install MetaMask here.
Once installed, when you select the Deposit tab within the Loci platform, a MetaMask login pops up for you to enter your password.
Once logged in to MetaMask make sure you are on the Main Ethereum Network.
And then Connect.
From here simply follow the instructions to Provide a Wallet Address and transfer some tokens. 50 should be more than enough if you are just staking one or two projects on the blockchain, but if you are going to be submitting multiple projects it would probably be wise to transfer a bit more in.
Here is what it arrived at for the first DYOR App Analysis:
First (V1) DYOR App Analysis — Score of 69 — “Somewhat Unique”
Although it was quite a respectable result and came up with a rating which it describes as “Somewhat Unique”, if I had put in a bit more effort refining the idea and had somehow managed to fill in the remaining two sections in the description I mentioned earlier, I’m quite confident there would have been a good chance of pushing the score in to the next level of 70 and above. (Update, I staked it on the Blockchain a second time, which did indeed increase my score to 82 — see below).
V2 Update — DYOR App Score Increased to 82 — “Very Unique”
I decided to start again by adding a new invention (a V2 of the same invention), made a slight tweak which resulted in a new improved score for the DYOR App of 82 which is now described as “Very Unique”.
Loci Score Breakdown
It actually only cost me 40 LOCI tokens to stake the DYOR App twice and even then I was given 30 LOCI back as per the Token Reward for achieving a Loci score of 69 & then 82.
E — Start a Search
One important and unique feature of the Loci Search Platform is that it naturally allows you to do a manual search using specific keywords and search terms that produces a Venn Diagram. This Venn Diagram feature is itself a patented invention owned by Loci. This is an important feature that also allows potential buyers to bid on your project, as we shall see later on.
I tried a search for “Blockchain Project Ratings Application” which didn’t actually produce any similar results at all. This probably means that as far as the Loci platform goes the DYOR App might in fact be completely unique. The dot between the red and blue circles is the DYOR App with no other dots present.
Moving on, we can now stake our invention on the Blockchain and actually put the idea up for sale.
Please note that in order to stake your idea on the blockchain you need a minimum Loci score of 40.
F- Stake Your Invention on the Blockchain
Looking at the Inventions section of the Dashboard we can see that I now have two inventions listed even although they are both technically the same invention, albeit with a slightly tweaked V2 with a higher Loci score of 82 added.
The first one was already staked back in November 2018. So, now I want to stake V2. And believe it or not, this process was remarkably easy and smooth.
Having clicked on the V2 Invention in the list, this takes us to the following screen:
As you can see at the top right I still have the option to Edit this Invention or Stake this Idea. This is the fun part, so I’m going to go ahead and stake it.
Simply click on the “Stake this Idea” button!
This time, because my score increased I get a reward of 20 LOCI! Yay!
Now it’s time to “Post to Blockchain” Woohoo!
When you click the post button another pop-up appears to let you know your invention is being written to the blockchain:
Once your idea has been successfully staked, you can verify the stake by clicking on the 3 dot menu to the right.
Clicking on “Verify Stake” brings up the Stake Hash which is the hashed text of your invention which was posted to the blockchain.
Clicking on “Verify” confirms the match. The hash can be copied to your clipboard if you wish to check it on Etherscan. However, there is an easier way to do that by clicking on “View” which will take you back to the invention summary screen.
From there you can click on the blue “view the transaction” link which will take you directly to the transaction on Etherscan. Here’s a screenshot of the first one:
G — How to Buy & Sell an Idea
There’s nothing else you really need to do here in order to put your invention up for sale as it’s all been done in the background. Once staked on the blockchain it is possible for potential buyers to place a bid on the invention simply by conducting a search and clicking a couple of buttons. You can see how this works by doing a search as follows:
To demonstrate this I used the search term “Blockchain Project Ratings Application” via the search feature on the right of the dashboard.
The two dots in the Venn diagram both relate to the DYOR App. Now the important thing here is to click on the grey oval (bottom left). When you click on that, this opens:
Clicking on the yellow highlighted text takes you to a screen where you can actually “Place a bid for this IP”:
This then opens up a new form which allows you to place your bid thus:
This has turned out to be quite a lengthy piece, but all of the steps above are quite necessary to get a baisc understanding of just how sophisticated and well thought through this platform is.
The development team have clearly put a lot of time and effort into designing it, and have made it a fairly seamless and smooth operation for users. Could it be improved? Certainly, there is always room for improvement to make it even more user friendly. For example, the rich text I mentioned, also the server seems a little bit sluggish at times when it chugs through the search and analysis. In addition to that the search scope currently only covers the US and China, although I’m quite sure other geographical jurisdictions such as Europe will no doubt be added later.
The important thing is — this is a real world use case on the blockchain that actually works! It’s useful, user friendly and very low cost. And having gone through the process as a real user of the platform, I can reiterate from first hand experience that it was relatively straight forward and a smooth process to get my idea staked on the blockchain and available for potential buyers.
Not only that, I’m pleased with the DYOR App having attained a very unique Loci score of 82. And it was all done at a very low cost of less than $10.
Video - What is Loci?
Please note that I’ve written this article both as a genuine user of the platform, but also as a contractual obligation as a Loci Ambassador as part of the Loci Ambassador program. I am also a token holder in so far as it was necessary to purchase LOCIcoin tokens in order to make full use of the platform.
Please also note that nothing in this article should be construed as investment advice, nor should it be mistaken as an invitation to invest or purchase. Cryptocurrencies can be extremely volatile and are subject to high risk. Always carry out your own due diligence and do your own research (DYOR).
For more information on the DYOR Blockchain Project Ratings App please vist https://dyorapp.io and subscribe to the mailing list to be informed of the latest news and developments.