Monday, March 24, 2014

Instant income verification - a Yozons '079 patent licensee

Some customers of Yozons have never used our technology and services directly, though many thousands have.

Nor have these customers necessarily used us through a reseller.

No, these customers are licensees of the Yozons '079 patent -- U.S. Patent No. 7,360,079 -- and they protect their businesses and investors, and more importantly, protect the interests of their customers by purchasing a license at a fair royalty amount.  We offer two tiers of patent licenses: 1) for those who use our patent in non-competitive markets; and 2) for those who are competitors and have directly built their businesses on top of our intellectual property.  We offer paid-up licenses as well as revenue-based royalties.

A recent example of such a patent licensee is a company in California that offers instant income verification, primarily for mortgage lenders.  Using its own web-based technologies, our licensee is able to review an applicant's tax returns, paystubs and bank statements by getting appropriate authorization online.  This then allows them to provide instant delivery of the applicant's income rather than waiting even one or two days, all with tax confirmation provided directly from the IRS.

Intellectual property laws can be complex, but patent law is pretty straightforward in that those who make use of the teachings of a patent are infringing even if they've never heard of the inventor or the patent before.  As the Yozons '079 patent was filed in 2002, an infringer today could easily have accumulated 12 years of ongoing infringement.

Even if you don't know you are infringing on a patent, you are legally responsible and can face damages if you do not remedy the situation.  If you do know about a patent and are found to infringe, it becomes willful and you become liable for treble damages (3 times the amount) and reimbursement of all legal expenses incurred by the patent owner to bring you into compliance.  Several direct competitors fall into this camp.

More confusing is that even if you are a customer of another product or service, and the vendor who offers it infringes on a patent, you also infringe it.  It is Yozons' belief that millions have infringed our patent using competing technologies as well as unrelated technologies that perform web-based electronic signatures and secure storage in which the keys and encryption are managed by the server rather than the parties themselves as was the industry norm before the '079 patent.

Of course, Yozons does not generally bring legal action against people regarding it's patent, but those who likely do infringe and refuse to purchase a license do set themselves and their customers up for a willful patent infringement lawsuit in federal court. Attempts to defend yourself can be very expensive, often costing $100,000 just to reach a first round settlement.  Most find that if there is sufficient reason to believe you may infringe, it's often dramatically cheaper to acquire a license than to fight it in court. Even if you win the lawsuit, you'll likely have spent considerable money and time on top of being compelled to divulge lots of private information via interrogatories and "requests for production" including software code, design specification, customer lists, revenue models and financial statements going back years.

Smart vendors protect their interests and the interests of their customers by acquiring rights to our '079 patent rather than leave themselves and their customers vulnerable.

Yozons offers a reasonable royalty program that provides a fair price for use of our important patent.  If you think you may infringe, we hope you do the right thing and join our many other patent licensees.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Home security requires good web security

A large, nationwide, home security firm uses Yozons to securely deliver signed copies of their sales agreements that they otherwise process using their existing CRM and order processing systems.

Of course, they also keep their official, legal copy permanently stored in our encrypted repository as well.

When they started back in early 2006, they were sending out roughly 1,500 agreements per month.  By 2009, they were up to 2,000 per month, and then 2,500 monthly agreements in 2010.  During this time, they were running our web services on their own internal server running in their data center.

By 2013, they were doing 3,500 monthly transactions, with occasional monthly peaks over 4,000, now using a private web server operated by Yozons on their behalf.

All told, Yozons is now managing nearly half a million signed sales agreements on a private web server running our technology branded for their needs.

Their private web server allows them to operate our technology as if were entirely their own, using their domain name and SSL certificate for the web contracting web site, yet still having Yozons perform the 24x7x365 operations, monitoring and maintenance in our data center.  This has relieved their internal IT department from the tasks of managing an additional server so they can focus on their core mission of supporting their in-house applications, PCs and networks.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

If the shoe fits, wear it proudly and with style

There's an old expression that the cobbler's children have no shoes.  There is some truth to the idea that those who work hard producing a product rarely have the time and energy to do similar, but uncompensated, work for themselves.

At Yozons, while it's true that we've built many far more complex systems for our customers than we ever did for ourselves, we are not cobblers, and we've always lived with the contrary motto that we should "eat our own dog food."  And we do, though we think it's way cooler than dog food.

Here at Yozons, we use our technologies in myriad ways:
  1. Our secure document delivery capabilities are used to communicate updates with investors.  On occasions, it's also use to transfer sensitive information that doesn't fit the solutions listed below, including credit card information, SSNs/EINs, etc.
  2. Our main sales agreement and invoice incorporates a 7-step workflow that starts with the sales rep, goes to the order reviewer only if there is custom forms development, is approved by a sales manager, can optionally be approved by a customer reviewer for technical and pricing correctness, is then signed by the customer, countersigned, and finally processed by accounting to reconcile payments by checks or those automatically charged when a credit card payment is used.
  3. We have an online sign-up form that customers can use to purchase directly using a credit card, which is then routed to technical support for installation and then accounting for payment reconciliation.
  4. We use e-Docs to store files and scanned images (such as -- thankfully rarely received -- faxes) in our secure repository.
  5. We have an individual contributors license agreement for those who help provide software code and/or documentation assistance.
  6. A mutual NDA is used when dealing with parties who need private details about our company, and more often, so those parties can divulge private details about their projects and plans with us.
  7. We have a sales agent and reseller agreement for engaging sales representatives and resellers.
  8. A partner developer agreement for those who help build custom solutions for our customers.
  9. A patent license agreement with royalty provisions for those who purchase a license to our U.S. Patent No. 7,360,079.
  10. And finally, a credit card authorization form mostly for those whose credit cards on file need to be updated.
In subsequent postings, we'll describe briefly how our various customers use our technologies, as they seem to handle a wide variety of tasks that differ dramatically from our own cobbler's needs.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Welcome to Enterprise WebApps

Welcome to our new Enterprise WebApps (web applications) blog that will discuss how secure, scalable, modern business web applications are developed.

Previously, large teams of programmers were needed to develop business applications.  Some very large and sophisticated applications still are produced this way.  But the vast majority of business applications built today are no longer monolithic systems.  Such older systems took too long to develop, tended to be hard to use, cost more than was budgeted, and of course were expensive to operate and maintain over the years.

Also, with the advent of web-based computing, businesses started to reduce the need for such big, centralized systems that are cost prohibitive for many and rarely show a good ROI.  Theses companies understood that employees, partners and customers are often located throughout the world, and being "in corporate headquarters" was becoming a thing of the past.

Many companies now look to acquire point technologies that solve specific needs rather than the all-encompassing super software of yesteryear.  And many of those want web-based solutions, often provided as a service (SaaS), allowing them a lower cost of entry, but also relieving them of the details of software development, maintenance and operations that were overloading internal IT.

Companies like showed the power of a vertical solution for dealing with CRM.

Yozons Open eSignForms is an enterprise webapp that's both a business transaction execution engine, as well as an application development tool that requires basic HTML expertise, and serves a horizontal market across most industries. Yozons develops point solutions on top for resale, and we also build turnkey solutions for some of our customers, while others build their own systems -- all without traditional software programming expertise needed.

Unlike software of old, though, users of Open eSignForms build their own point solutions that come with enterprise-grade capabilities like scalability, segmentation of users into groups, branding libraries to handle multiple companies/divisions, data encryption, digital signatures for XML and PDFs, HTML documents that render correctly on all devices (PCs, tablets, phones) and don't require special hardware or software to view, electronic signatures for authorization and agreement, and basic workflow to ensure processes run smoothly and no work is lost or misplaced.

We will present the myriad enterprise webapps our customers have built for themselves, as well as those Yozons has built as separate products.  As the underlying customer-branded technology for many large and small companies, Yozons is often the most used, but never heard of, technology company out there.  Our customers are essentially getting a custom solution to meet their needs quickly at the same price as pre-built enterprise software that never quite fits right (and the cost of modifying them is usually prohibitive) and often takes years to implement. 

Nimble businesses simply cannot move that slowly, and there's really no reason to do so.