Associations Asked to Pay Royalties on Their Trade Show and Conference Websites -- a2z Inc. Steps Forward to Offer Assistance to Show Producers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/16/2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2002
CONTACT:
Rajiv Jain, President
a2z Inc.
Phone: 410-740-9200
Fax: 410-740-9201
E-mail: rajiv@a2zinc.net


Associations Asked to Pay Royalties on Their Trade Show and Conference Websites
a2z Inc. Steps Forward to Offer Assistance to Show Producers

In the past two weeks, several associations received a written notice from patent attorneys representing Software Management, Inc. (SMI), a company that provides software solutions and website development services for the destination, event venue, and convention industries. The notice states that the associations' Internet methods and systems augmenting their trade shows and conferences are "improperly exploiting SMI's claimed invention," outlined in a published patent application. The notice calls for the associations to pay a $1,250 per event royalty fee to SMI for the use of the ideas in the patent application.

The patent application describes a web-based system that "allows the creation of a 'virtual convention venue' for conventions that exist only on a central website server and available using the Internet. Additionally, the system supports and augments a convention being held in a physical or venue-based center."

a2z, Inc., a leading developer of web-based software used to market and manage trade shows, conferences, seminars, and other events, has also received a similar notice and is working aggressively to resolve this issue. a2z is offering its support to its clients and anyone who has thus far received a similar notice.

President of a2z, Rajiv Jain, stated, "We already have our lawyers working on this issue, and would be glad to share with others what we have learned so far. If we can build a community of trade show and convention producers affected by this claim, we will be better prepared to fight it. We believe that the idea for online trade shows and conferences as set forth in the published claims, was established in this industry well before SMI submitted its patent application. Further, it is our understanding that SMI’s rights are subject to a patent ultimately issuing and if the issued claims are not substantially identical to the published claims, then SMI is not entitled to any provisional rights."

This patent application could potentially affect thousands of trade show and convention producers. If you or someone you know has received a similar notice, you may contact a2z's president, Mr. Rajiv Jain, at Rajiv@a2zinc.net, or by phone at (410) 480-7228. Please do not hesitate to call; a2z is committed to sharing the knowledge it has gathered, and will do so free of charge.

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