PRESENTATION BY MR. TIMOTHY SCANLON
ALLEN-BRADLEY COMPANY
MR. SCANLON;:  Yes.  Good morning.  I'm with the Allen-Bradley
Company.  And the views that I'm expressing will be those of
the Allen-Bradley Company.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  There was an Allen-Bradley witness who
was --
MR. SCANLON;:  That was John J. Horn yesterday, who is our
legal patent counsel at our headquarters office in Milwaukee.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Yes.  He was here, wasn't he?
MR. SCANLON;:  Yes.  He still is.  He's right there.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Oh, yes.
MR. SCANLON;:  He may be here for longer than he wants to be
here.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  He's the guy that gave us the donuts. 
We have to pay, you know, I didn't realize they were coming
from Allen-Bradley.
(Laughter.)
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  If they're coming from you, it's okay. 
This is a widely-attended event.  We can take a donut.  But we
can't take a donut from Allen-Bradley.
MR. SCANLON;:  You'd better save some for your stay in the
airport tonight.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  I'm from Wisconsin and I'm familiar
with that company pretty much.  I doubt if they support the
Clinton administration too much, but anyway.
(Laughter.)
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  I'm just joking.  Go ahead, please.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Thank you.
MR. SCANLON;:  Good morning, Commissioner Lehman and other
distinguished members of the panel, participants, and
attendees.
Thank you for providing this forum to share our views relating
to these important issues, and most importantly, thank you for
your time.
My name is Timothy Scanlon.  I'm representing the
Allen-Bradley Company.  Allen-Bradley is a world leader in
industrial automation and control.  We provide a diverse range
of hardware and software products and services to enable our
customers worldwide to compete in their respective markets.
As Allen-Bradley patent counsel John Horn presented yesterday,
there is a fast and furious trend in our industry, like other
industries, towards replacing hardware functionality with
software.  My position with Allen-Bradley is not that of legal
counsel, but rather I'm a human interface specialist within a
corporate-wide software marketing organization.  It's a little
bit different slant perspective from the past couple of days,
hopefully.
My formal education is in industrial design in human factors. 
And I've been practicing these disciplines for the past
10-plus years.  At Allen-Bradley I work with talented software
developers, communication designers, and useability
specialists to create new and innovative software user
interface solutions.
These software graphical user interface designs enable a broad
spectrum of users in the industrial control sector to interact
with complex and sophisticated technologies to do what they
really want to do, effectively perform work to satisfy their
job requirements.
In general, people don't really want to use computers, they
just want to get their work done.
So why are the visual aspects of software significant to the
Allen-Bradley company and so important to protect?  I'd like
to address three key areas of significance to help foster an
understanding of our position, and encourage appreciation for
the impact that this has on our businesses and the businesses
that use our software.
But before I address these three areas, I'd like to establish
a definition for the visual aspects of our software.
The visual aspects of our software that we'd like to protect
are what we call user interface components.  These consist of
icons, bit maps, and controls, developed specifically for our
verticals markets in industry.
These are different from platform standard components, such as
common dialogue boxes, et cetera, that are widely used across
vertical industries.  And we're not advocating protection of
commonly and generally -- widely used standards as far as the
windows controls and things of that nature.
Now back to the three key areas.  The first one is the level
of effort involved in establishing a usable graphical user
interface.  And I'd like to emphasize "usable."  What the
usability of Allen-Bradley software means to our customers
will be area number two.  And number three, how the software
graphical user interface is an extensive of Allen-Bradley's
expertise and knowledge of the industrial control and
automation industry.
There are several constraints considered during the design of
our graphical user interfaces.  Key considerations include the
accommodation of a broad spectrum of end users. 
Allen-Bradley, through extensive research and studies, has
identified six types of users for our software products.  Each
and every software product that we design is designed to
accommodate these user profiles.
The six categories of users and their educational backgrounds,
just to give you an idea of the challenge, is, at the low end,
a maintenance technician who has a high school diploma and
maybe a two-year technical school certificate in electronics.
Next would be an operator who has a high school diploma and
maybe a two-year technical degree certificate from a technical
school.
Third on the way up the scale would be an installer, somebody
who installs our equipment, whose educational background is
high school, a two-year technical certificate, and possibly an
apprenticeship.
Next would be an implementer, somebody who has a two-year
certificate, an engineering degree in computer science,
perhaps.
The last two on the high end of the scale would be a designer,
a system designer, who typically has a two-year certificate,
an engineering degree in computer science.  And at the top
level, a planner who actually plans a facility or a plant who
typically would have a Bachelor of Science in Electrical
Engineering, and possibly has completed a graduate level
education program.
The reason that I walked through these and gave these brief
profiles was to illustrate the challenges that we face when
designing graphical user interfaces.  We have to accommodate
a broad range of users in every product that we design, and we
consider these.
In addition, all of our GUIs are designed to facilitate
translation into seven languages, namely, English, French,
German, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, and Italian.  Special
considerations are made to ensure that user interface
components can accommodate expansion due to text screen
growth, for instance, following translation.
We also developed symbology to incorporate into our tool
buyers and in other areas of our software.  And it's carefully
designed for global recognition.  So we developed several
different symbols, and we actually test these.  So there's
quite a lot of money spent in developing these components.
As you can see, designing the GUI for --
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  What's your status on the international
market in your exports as a percentage of your sales?
MR. SCANLON;:  Percentage of sales?  Boy, I'll tell you, that
would be tough for me to quantify, since we've been
traditionally a hardware-oriented company and we're now
growing into software.
Rather than answering it that way, I'd like to tell you what
products we have translated and --
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  But I assume that a lot of your
hardware is exported?
MR. SCANLON;:  Absolutely.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Allen-Bradley is a big export company.
MR. SCANLON;:  Yes, we're very heavily --
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  My impression was, it was like 50
percent or something like that, not that much.
MR. SCANLON;:  Is that about what it is, John?
MR. HORN;:  I don't know exactly know the figures, but if I
were to take a rough guess, they are probably 20 or 30.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Twenty or thirty?  Yes.
MR. SCANLON;:  We're very heavily entrenched in the European
markets and now starting to expand into the Asian markets at
a fast rate.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  In the area of controls, that's your
area, isn't it?
MR. SCANLON;:  Yes.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  My understanding is that there was some
proprietary French technology which basically was a software
technology, which has sort of a central position in this
industry.  Is that true?
MR. SCANLON;:  That would be the graphs set?
MR. HORN;:  Vision Recognition.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Vision Recognition?  Do you use that?
MR. HORN;:  Oh, yes.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  And is that covered under copyright or
patents, or trade secrets, and do you license it?
MR. SCANLON;:  John?
MR. HORN;:  It is covered under -- there are hardware
components and there are software components.  So you've got
really what yesterday was referred to by one of the witnesses
as an embedded microprocessor system.
It runs software, which has been designed in France, and we do
have patents on some of the aspects of that software.  It
happens in that particular case that there isn't that much
patent coverage available because a lot of the ideas behind
that software, which I think personally would have been
patentable, actually were surfaced in academic circles 10 or
15 years ago.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  I asked about the French technology
here, which you are licensing even though it has limited
intellectual property rights protection in this country, I
gather.  I mean, it doesn't have patent protection.  I assume
you license it because you have to get access to the
proprietary know how that comes along with it.  What causes
you not just to take it instead of license it?
MR. HORN;:  Well, when you say we license it, I must add that
the software is actually developed by a French subsidiary of
the company.  We bought it.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Okay.  Well, then I guess that's the
answer.  So this is a company that's now owned by
Allen-Bradley?
MR. HORN;:  Right.  And we have a design center in France that
continues to improve this software.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  I see.  So then I guess the question
is, are other people licensing it, or are they just taking it?
MR. HORN;:  My impression is -- and I must say that I'm not an
expert on the vision industry -- is that most of it is
homegrown stuff developed by the individual vision companies
to work with their special hardware.  And again, most of these
are embedded systems.  Most of them have specialized hardware,
and then the custom software that goes with that specialized
hardware.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  One of the reasons that Allen-Bradley
is interested in a pretty strong patent protection here is
because it would -- now, I'm not saying this -- I think a yes
answer is perfectly acceptable -- because it would obviously
help them to exploit this technology which they have.
MR. HORN;:  It would help us to exploit the technology in
cases where we have major innovations in which we've made
significant major investments.  And we feel that those do
occur on occasion.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  I'm sorry to interrupt you.
MR. SCANLON;:  That's quite all right.  I'm glad that John's
able to --
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  The great thing about an informal
atmosphere and having all day is that we can have this
colloquy which is helpful to us to flesh out the issues.
MR. SCANLON;:  John is based in the legal department in
Milwaukee, so he has a broader view into that.  So I'm glad he
was able to answer your questions.
So as you can see, designing the graphical user interface for
software is something that requires a significant investment. 
And I've only mentioned a few of the scenarios that we have to
design for, and some of the constraints that we deal with.
The second key point is what the usability of Allen-Bradley
software means to our customers.  We have a concept of
measuring software usability at various points during the
software development process.  And many people have probably
seen more and more about software usability as it enters the
mainstream media and gets broader and broader coverage.
We handle this through the conduct of usability studies in
controlled environments, typically usability labs, with
carefully selected test subjects that have certain user
profiles and experience.
We measure speed:  how long it takes for a person to perform
a particular task.  Accuracy:  what's the percentage of error
during that performance.  Training:  how much training is
involved to bring the individual up to a certain level of
proficiency.  Then more of a qualitative rating, which is a
level of acceptance for our software.
Usability to our customers is very important, because it means
reduced system integration time.  That is, taking the hardware
of the control system and programming it to communicate in
effect the manufacturing process.  System integration cost is
very high in the control industry, sometimes even as much as
the actual hardware cost.
With the new and more usable graphical interfaces that we are
developing, we can significantly reduce the integration cost
and enable our customers to go online faster.  This is an
important competitive advantage for Allen-Bradley.
A case in point is a product that we sell that gives
programmers the capability to program motion controllers
graphically, versus the traditional text-based method.  The
product is GML, which stands for graphical motion language. 
Our customers can perform the same tasks with GML, that is
programming motion controllers, in 20 percent of the time it
used to take them with a reduced percentage of error.
Key point number three is how the software graphical user
interface is an extension of Allen-Bradley's expertise and
knowledge of the industrial automation and control industry. 
GML is a good example of this.  At Allen-Bradley we've
developed and continue to develop graphical user interfaces
like GML for areas other than motion control.  These areas
include vision and bar code systems, logical programming
tools, statistical process data gathering and analysis tools,
operator interfaces for control in the plant floor, or
supervisory control at remote locations.  The list goes on.
We're able to create graphical user interface like GML for all
of these products because we understand these businesses.  We
understand how our customers perform work.  Consequently we
can create GUIs like graphical motion language, that create
this domain expertise -- that reflect this domain expertise
and translate the productivity tools for end users and
customers.
The problem for us is that it is very easy to take something
like our graphical user interface concepts that reflect this
domain expertise, translate it into a graphical form, and are
painstakingly refined to become globally usable and duplicated
or create knockoffs.
Given the graphical user interfaces are an important feature
of our present and future product offerings, we believe that
they are worthy of proper legal protection.  It seems to us
the existing copyright protection is not fully adequate in
view of the utilitarian aspects that are closely linked to our
unique industry-specific user interface components.
For our purposes, copyright law concentrates too heavily on
the details of expression.  We believe that design patents are
somewhat appropriate for protecting these graphically oriented
technologies, despite their focus on the ornamental aspects.
We would like to encourage the Patent Office to allow design
patent protection of graphical user interface components that
include icons, bit maps, and controls.  So we're kind of going
beyond just the icons because there's a lot more there.
We would also encourage the Patent Office to seek any
necessary legislative authority to make design patents and/or
utility patents effective for the protection of these new and
valuable uses for graphical interface components.
It looks like I'm running out of time.  I had another idea
about the parallel aspects of --
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Why don't you tell it to us?
MR. SCANLON;:  Sitting in the meetings for the past couple of
days, as a marketing person who generates market requirements
and hands those over to developers, it's very difficult to
communicate the features functionality or the behavior of
graphical user interfaces.
I see a parallel problem in the traditional medium that is
used to submit patent applications.  So possibly some lessons
could be learned.  Typically what we do is we generate market
requirements documents there, go to engineering.  They respond
with a function requirements spec.  We are now actually
building in prototypes and using some alternative approaches
to communicating the behavior, not just the visual aspects of
our software.
So there's more behavioral elements associated with that.  And
those are very important in creating these competitive user
interfaces.  So there may be something there that could be
investigated and used for the future for the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office.
Allen-Bradley would like to support these endeavors through
continued participation in future gatherings such as this. 
Once again, thank you for your time.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Thank you very much.  In the process,
we're big users of software technology, of course, ourselves. 
We're spending a very large sum of money automating the patent
system, and it's a big management problem for me.  Right now
we're in very much a transitional phase, not just because the
administration has changed, but because our leadership of that
whole operation, the two top people, have retired.
Actually, we have two jobs open.  Our director of information
systems position for the whole Patent and Trademark Office is
open.  If anybody has some good candidates, send them our way. 
We'll pay the top money we can pay in the Federal Government,
give them all the benefits we can.  And it's interesting work.
But one of the things that we're doing is that we're just now
starting our electronic applications system, which involves
the creation of graphical interfaces that I personally am
quite excited about.  We have a pilot program going right now. 
I think it's going to help us produce much, much better and
more usable patent applications because when you actually have
to fill out an electronic form, the interface won't let you
proceed until it gets all the information.  From step one you
can't go to step two.
And I think it will help -- and it educates the user all the
way along the line.  So we're actually in that business
ourselves, and it's a very exciting thing.  I think you've
chosen a very good profession for yourself.
MR. SCANLON;:  Thank you.  It's a lot of fun.
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Thanks.
Now I think we're done with yesterday's witnesses.  We can
start this morning.  Again, earlier, about an hour ago -- or
more than an hour ago -- I went through and called off people,
and I know some of the people here.  I'm going to do that
again so I can see who's here.
Michael Kurtz of the Oracle Corporation.  Has he come?
Daniel Kluth of Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner.
R. Lewis Gable of Welsh & Katz is here.
Robert Greene Sterne, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein and Fox.
John E. DeWald, Prudential was here, is still here.
David Clark of Aquilino & Welsh, who is here now, okay.
Allen M. Lo of Finnegan, Henderson, is now here.
Samual Oddi is here.
And David Webber, LNK Corporation.
Bernard Galler.  I mentioned that if he's not here, he's not
going to be here because of the snow.
Gregory Aharonian was here.
I don't see Bill Fryer here.
We have one, two, three, four, five, six people then.  I'm
going to start with R. Lewis Gable of Welsh & Katz.
Oh, David Cornwell.  I don't have him on my -- is David
Cornwell here?
(No audible response.)
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  Is there anybody who was scheduled to
testify that I haven't named who is here?
(No audible response.)
COMMISSIONER LEHMAN;:  I guess not, thanks.
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