Rethinking Technology ::: A New Adventure with a Tablet PC

Posted by Douglas Sorocco at May 7, 2005 11:25 AM

I have been somewhat quiet here lately and y’all must excuse me as I have been in tech-geekR15 Tablet PC nirvana – I have been ‘demo-ing’ a Toshiba R15 Tablet PC (obligatory picture at right).

My lust for a tablet pc has not been exactly a new phenomena – I had reviewed the options a couple of years back and decided that the form factor wasn’t something that would be useful at the time.  The screens were too small for my taste, no integrated optical drives etc. 

ABA TechShow and LexThink got me thinking about the whole process once again and I decided to devote some time to exploring the newest generations of the device.  Additionally, Matt and Buzz spent a lot of time talking up the benefits of a Tablet PC – and how can anyone ever refuse Buzz?

Originally I was quite impressed with the new HP TC1100 – I had the opportunity to use one of these devices for a short period of time at LexThink and I was really digging the form factor – a detachable slate/keyboard combination.  The screen was somewhat small for my taste (12”) but I thought the detachable nature would come in handy and alleviate some of the weight while traveling and/or holding the tablet.  I was looking forward to bringing a couple of the devices into my firm for testing but HP didn’t seem to want to work with me – numerous phone calls and emails to sales and support folks went unanswered. 

In the end, everything worked out...  Through further research I narrowed down my choice between the R15 and the Fujitsu t4000.  In the end, the Toshiba’s larger screen caught my fancy and after playing with a display unit at CompUSA, I ordered the R15 directly from ToshibaDirect

So, I have a new tool (or toy as my wife would say) to experiment with for a couple of weeks before having to decide whether it will be a useful addition to my practice.  You’ll have to forgive me if I wax philosophical about Tablet PCs the next couple of weeks.

What does this have to do with Rethink(ip)?  Everything. 

One of the goals of Rethink(ip) is to discuss new and innovative ways of serving client needs in the intellectual property realm.  IP lawyers spend most of their time in the trenches with technology and science innovators (well, at least they should be) – any tool that improves  interaction and communication is well worth incorporating into the mix. 

In the short time I have been using the device, I have already seen some tremendous inking possibilities for client work:

  • using mindmaps to sketch out patent application components,
  • collaboratively drafting documents and disclosure documents and
  • using other tools such as Go-To-Meeting and Camtasia Studio to promote collaborative learning and technology development.

The first piece of software to find its way onto my new R15 is MindManager – the integration with the inking capabilities is amazing.  The second piece of software I put on the machine is ActiveWords.  If you haven’t yet tried out ActiveWords, in a nutshell, it will change your practice – just ask Steve, he is doing some amazing patent related things with ActiveWords.

So — I see some patent-centric demos coming down the pike — anyone have any items/projects (non-confidential, of course) they would like to offer up for the cause? Drop us a comment and let us know how you have or would like to integrate a Tablet into your practice.

Comments (2) | TrackBacks (7) trackback

Related Articles:
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IP Memes and rethink(ip)
PTOEx - If they won't fix theirs, why don't we build our own?


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Rob Bushway (Tablet PC MVP) Says:

May 9, 2005 11:45 PM


It'll be very interesting to follow observations, especially with how they apply to legal industry. Thanks for the article.

If you have any support issues, be sure to checkout or just visit my blog and I'll be happy to assist you as well.

Matt Buchanan Says:

May 10, 2005 12:06 AM

Doug -- I had an idea for a tablet-oriented project that I would love to help someone implement. It's for the engineers, scientists and other key inventive personnel (KIPs) in an organization, not the attorneys. But, in the end, it helps the patent process in the organization, so I think it's relevant here.

I detailed the project in this prior post on Promote the Progress. The project recognizes the gap between the number of inventions produced by KIPs and the number of invention disclosures that are actually submitted for consideration for preparation of a patent application. Most KIPs detest writing the disclosure. The idea behind the project is to make the process as simple and easy-to-use as possible, all in an attempt to minimize the gap.

The details involve Tablet PC's, wireless network access, .pdf forms, and dedicated e-mail accounts for handling new disclosures. I encourage everyone to read the full post at PTP and then comment on Doug's post here.

I am still looking for someone that would let me implement this project. I'm sure Doug and Steve would be willing to help...

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