About Black Hills IP

Gold standard quality IP services

We are relentlessly dedicated to bringing gold standard quality docketing, paralegal, and renewals services to the IP practice.

Black Hills IP was founded over ten years ago with a single-minded mission: to create gold-standard services for the IP practice. We knew that our competitors had invested heavily in services based on offshore manual labor. We wanted to improve and automate, when possible, the processes performed off-shore and provide world-class, top-quality services delivered from the U.S. 

For the last decade, that has been our sole focus. During that time, we have developed ground-breaking automation technology that is unsurpassed in its capability and has no competition in its class. Our founders have reinvented IP before and have done it again. 

Learn how we do it

Ten years in the making, our vision and technology is revolutionary. We have completely reimagined and reinvented IP docketing and more.

The Vision

Ten years ago, we had the vision to see that a large percentage of routine IP paralegal services could be automated. As a result, jobs lost to offshore providers relying on low-cost labor could be brought back to the U.S. We knew from our own experience running off-shore teams that off-shore labor was only about 1/2 to 2/3 as efficient as U.S. labor and needed a lot more supervision and management overhead. 

We also know that many companies using offshore paralegal services such as docketing are not saving any money compared to more efficient U.S. operations, particularly considering the time lost communicating with people working on a completely different time schedule. So, we saw an opportunity to change the way things are done. 

We knew we could use automation to multiply the productivity of our U.S. team and as a result beat the pricing of offshore labor, along with delivering a higher quality product. We also knew that our automation would be a huge game changer and it would take time to educate the market. (And so, we are glad you are here reading this.) 

We want to make it clear that we are not against off-shoring and certainly we believe that off-shore teams are very capable within the limits of the human limitations that we all share. But we are also very certain that human-based docketing will never be able to achieve the results our automation has achieved – that is a certainty unless they can docket thousands of items in minutes without error. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place in the IP ecosystem. It’s just that it won’t be doing docketing or other IP tasks that can be automated. 

The Future

We at Black Hills IP realize that we are about to undergo a sea-change in not only how IP services are performed, but also in how they are delivered and priced. When your docketing or paralegal team is a computer system, you can’t charge by the hour or by the person. 

These services are computer algorithms that will be paid for and consumed as cloud services, much like computer resources are now sold by Amazon. That is why Black Hills IP has not only pioneered automation but also the pricing models needed to support these services. 

The advantage of our models is there are no surprises – we have never raised a customer’s cost because we needed to add new team members to do the same level of work we promised to begin with, and in fact have not had a price increase in over ten years. This has only been possible by getting more and more automated. 

But the bigger picture is that a great many jobs doing what we call “robotic work” are going to be replaced with automation over the next few years. This is not a possibility, it’s a certainty. We have now docketed over 3,000,000 items with our automation, and every day we add many thousands more to the total. A large percentage of the docketing we do every day is done fully automatically, meaning no human ever touches or views the item. 

And the quality and accuracy is stunning. But this is to be expected when our automation can look at many more sources of data than a docketer can in order to make a docketing decision, and also can pull dates in from the source and avoid the most common error – transcription errors. 

Moreover, because we recognize documents in their native language, our automation dockets off of foreign language documents, allowing us to bypass the uneven and inconsistent English translations that are provided by foreign patent agents. This allows our foreign docketing to achieve a level of particularity and accuracy that our competitors could only dream of. So, we can see the future now. Can you?

Black Hills IP is committed to diversity and inclusion at our company and in innovation

This year we honor the extraordinary contributions of these distinguished African-American inventors.

George Washington Carver: 1864-1943

Invented over 300 recipes and 300 products using peanuts

Obtained 3 patents in areas of cosmetics and paints 

Born into slavery 

Became a foster son of Moses and Susan Carver 

First black student at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa

First black student to earn a BS at Iowa State Ag School 

Remained on faculty and discovered new species of soybean attacking fungi

Granville Woods:  1856-1910

Invented 15 devices for electric railways and electrical communication including slot car racetrack, steam boilers, battery

Held nearly 60 patents at the time of his death

22 patents assigned to GE, Westinghouse, Ward Leonard

Referred to as “Black Edison”

Named inventor on 8 Induction telegraphy patents 

Charles Drew: 1904-1950

Father of the Blood Bank 

Born in DC 

Attended Amherst College and McGill Univ. of Medicine where he obtained an MD; Practiced medicine in Canada

Moved back to the US and obtained Ph.D. in medicine at Columbia Univ. 

Created blood banks for the “Blood for Britain” project in 1939 

Named inventor on needle patent and shunt patent

Percy L. Julian: 1899-1975

Pioneered the science of producing medicinal chemicals using plants

Born in Montgomery Alabama, his grandfather was a slave

Obtained Masters degree from Harvard

Obtained Ph.D. from Univ of Austria with a fellowship from Rockefeller Foundation 

Went to work as a research fellow at DePauw Univ. but was denied a teaching position despite major discoveries

Despite his many accomplishments, Percy Julian was never offered a faculty position at DePauw

Rejected for a position at DuPont for racial reasons

Emmett Chappelle: 1925-2019

Biochemist who made groundbreaking discoveries in understanding bioluminescence

Born in Phoenix, Earned Master’s degree at Univ. of Washington and started Ph.D. at Stanford

Left Stanford to work at Res. Inst. For Adv. Studies in Maryland

Invented a revolutionary test known as an ATP fluorescent assay

The test employs luciferin and luciferase that produce light when combined with ATP

Named inventor on 11 patents

Marie Van Brittan Brown:  1922-1999

Nurse and Inventor of CCTV Prototype​ 

US 3482037; Cited in 32 subsequent patent applications 

Marie developed a system that would alert a homeowner and contact the authorities quickly

Inspiration to her daughter who grew up to be a nurse and inventor 

Meredith Gourdine (1929-1998)

Nickname was “Flash”

Won a silver medal in the 1952 Olympics in the long jump

Earned PhD from CalTech where he worked at JPL.​ 

Developed commercial applications for electrodynamics, garnering patents for converting natural gas to electricity, desalinating sea water, creating circuit breakers, and acoustic imaging 

Invented the “focus flow heat sink,” which cools computer chips ​ 

Best known for developing the electrostatic precipitator filtration system, which removes smoke from burning buildings, fog from airport runways, and, today, allergens and other particulates from the air of many homes 

Otis Boykin (1920-1982)

Named as inventor on 26 electrical resister patents at the time of death

Invented precision resister used in televisions, radios, IBM computers, military missiles

Invented control unit for pacemakers to allow precise regulation—US 2972726 

Frank S. Greene:  1938-2009

One of 63 inductees in SV Engineering Hall of Fame

Developed high speed semiconductor computer memory systems at Fairchild Semiconductor in the 1960’s 

Dr. Patricia Bath:  1942-2019

American ophthalmologist and laser scientist  

 Born in Harlem to Rupert Bath, the first Black motorman for the New York City subway system, and Gladys Bath, a housewife and domestic worker who used her salary to save money for her children’s education

Graduated from Howard Medical School and accepted an internship at Harlem Hospital

The following year, she also began pursuing a fellowship in ophthalmology at Columbia Univ.  

Through her studies there, she discovered that African Americans were twice as likely to suffer from blindness than other patients to which she attended, and eight times more likely to develop glaucoma.

Group Of Lawyers Excited Throwing Paper

Have you looked into automated docketing?

Our Automated Docketing can handle 90% of your U.S. docketing before you wake up!