The same year Marcos Polanco earned a degree from Stanford University in computer systems engineering, the Puerto Rico native went to work for Hewlett-Packard as a software engineer, helping the company develop a database management system. That was in 1991. Now, Polanco is suing the company for royalties, because he says H-P and more than a dozen other big tech companies are infringing his patent on an “intranet publishing system.”
Polanco wasn’t eager to talk about his lawsuit, answering “no comment” to a series of questions about the patent, the technology, and Ingeniador, LLC – the patent-holder – during a phone call into his office in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The lawsuit, Ingeniador v. Interwoven et. al., filed Aug. 26 in United States District Court in San Juan, charges 16 defendants with “making, using, importing, offering for sale, or selling web-based editing and publishing products” that use an undisclosed feature of Ingeniador’s invention, in Puerto Rico. The defendants include Microsoft, H-P, Oracle, Alfresco Software, Interwoven, Blackboard, Bridgeline Digital, EMC Corporation, Informatica, Compulink Management Center, Lexmark International, Nuxeo, Objective Corporation USA, SAP America, SDL Tridion, and SpringCM.
Of the eleven patent lawsuits filed in Puerto Rico in the past decade, three were filed this year.
Among products listed in the claim are Microsoft’s SharePoint website management tool, Oracle’s Webcenter content management tool, and Blackboard’s electronic publishing system.
The inventors listed on the patent under which Ingeniador has filed suit – patent No. 6,990,629 – are three men from Schlumberger Tech Corp, an oilfield services provider headquartered near Houston. The patent was filed in July of 2000 and issued in January of 2006. In the lawsuit, Ingeniador notes that it “received” the patent from Schlumberger, but doesn’t include any details about the transfer.
Information available on the web about Ingeniador is just as vague. The company doesn’t appear to have a working website. It is registered to 1607 Calle Colón, Suite 101 in San Juan – Polanco’s office. That address and suite number are associated with more than 30 domains, including Patentstartups.com, several of which list Polanco as administrative contact, registrant contact, technical contact – the only contact, in fact.
The address is also linked to ClearShore, an organization that helps Puerto Rican entrepreneurs secure government funds for business development, and Albedrio Partners, a “computer related services” company founded in 2005, according to online business directories. Albedrio lists Polanco as its managing principal; ClearShore lists him as CEO.
Polanco’s enthusiasm for Puerto Rico is clear from reading Polanco’s Google+ profile page. Under “Occupation,” Polanco has inserted a kind of call to action to entrepreneurs on the island: “Leverage the internet to liberate the precious genius of untapped talent, starting in Puerto Rico.”
The law firm representing Ingeniador, San Juan-based Ferraiuoli, LLC, did not respond to phone calls and emails concerning the lawsuit. Ingeniador is also represented by Reichard & Escalera, also of San Juan.