ZOOMcatalog (UPIC: Zoom-cat), an industry business services company based in Boulder, Colorado, has secured a patent on its proprietary catalog management systems.
The patent was awarded to the company in March for a system and method to research documents in online libraries. The process was completed nearly three years after the application was submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This patent was written to protect the company’s proprietary catalog management system, including ZOOMcatalog.com and ZOOMcustom.com, both of which are intended to reduce printing and mailing costs associated with traditional catalogs.
ZOOMcatalog President Noleen Zasman, like many entrepreneurs, came up with the company’s concept out of necessity. As a veteran promotional products distributor, she was frustrated with the time-consuming and laborious process of not only finding promotional products of interest for her clients but also keeping and storing up-to-date catalogs from all her suppliers. This process was difficult and inefficient, slowed down the sales cycle, and made finding new, creative and cost-effective ideas difficult. Zasman knew she wasn’t the only one who felt this way, so she began developing a solution.
“We put a team together with a unique combination of skills that comprised how catalogs work in the promotional products industry, knowledge of how startup companies operate and a deep experience in managing large digital media libraries,” says Zasman. “We also understood how to streamline workflows through our effort in automating digital TV broadcast stations and combined this with a vast array of applications involving rich digital media (i.e., media containing data, images, video and audio).
“By applying these principles, we were able to create the concepts to manage industry-specific catalogs in the cloud and then design the systems,” says Zasman. “Once we transitioned these concepts into a successful catalog cloud management system and service, we realized that not only had we truly invented a unique product but we also successfully implemented these innovations and developments—and we began the process to obtain the patent to protect our intellectual property.”
For ZOOMcatalog.com, the patent addresses storing, searching and distributing digital catalogs by product category, theme and keyword—including product type, item number and supplier name as well as line and brand names. For ZOOMcustom.com, the patent covers the ability for distributors to personalize digital catalogs instantaneously and on-demand from participating suppliers’ catalogs. Complete details of the patent can be found at http://www.google.com/patents/US8407197.