Another Patent for EngineRoom® Software

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A Menu-Driven Add-In for Microsoft® Excel® - “Cutting the Cost of Calculation”

If you think about it, math is the ultimate commodity, and it doesn't change from year to year, so statistical software should not be expensive.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has allowed another patent application filed by that covers features of EngineRoom®, the popular Lean Six Sigma data analysis software. The newly allowed application covers advances introduced by MoreSteam several years ago, specifically an interactive feature called the “DOE Wizard™” that guides users through the proper set-up and interpretation of designed experiments, which can lead to breakthroughs in process improvement initiatives. Although the allowance of the application is not the grant of a patent, issuance of the patent is expected in due course, and will bring the number of patents granted on EngineRoom® software to a total of five.

MoreSteam’s President, Bill Hathaway, was happy about the news: “We are really pleased to hear that the US Patent and Trademark Office has once again recognized our innovative software and rewarded our efforts. Our approach to data analysis, and particularly higher order statistical procedures, is to make statistical analysis less threatening for non-statisticians. Our developments have proven to be very popular – so popular that competitors have chosen to adopt our technologies. We are committed to expanding our research and development activities in order to bring more innovative solutions to market, and we’ll be announcing a completely new approach to data analysis in the coming weeks.”

EngineRoom is an all-purpose software tool designed to provide process improvement practitioners with a full suite of powerful, simple-to-use data analysis and project completion tools. The recently allowed application covers a unique functionality that guides the Design of Experiments practitioner through the process of selecting the appropriate experimental design. The software leads the practitioner through a series of considerations, including whether cost or resource constraints exist, such that the more appropriate design is for screening purposes or, alternatively, whether the circumstances warrant a better resolution design. The wizard functionality thus assists the user who is unfamiliar with experimental designs to arrive at an appropriate design given the user’s particular concerns. Likewise, the previously patented features of EngineRoom relating to “Hypothesis Testing in Plain English WizardTM” technology assist users who are unfamiliar with hypothesis testing. This functionality assists the user in navigating through proper hypothesis test selection, assuring all underlying assumptions are addressed, and confirming the implications of the user’s choices. Questions prompt proper test set-up and analysis.

The newly allowed patent identifies Bill Hathaway and Smita Skrivanek, MoreSteam’s principal statistician, as co-inventors. “If you think about it, math is the ultimate commodity, and it doesn't change from year to year, so statistical software should not be expensive,” stated Hathaway. “The real value is in interpreting the results and acting on them to make sound, data-driven decisions. Features like the hypothesis testing and DOE wizards are the reason that EngineRoom is fast becoming the tool of choice for Lean Six Sigma initiatives.”

The approved application bolsters the recognition of MoreSteam’s contributions to data analysis computing. “This application allowance by the USPTO reflects MoreSteam’s on-going view that its patent portfolio is valid,” commented Tim Kelley, MoreSteam’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “This allowance follows court decisions, of which the USPTO is well aware, bearing on the question of whether this type of software patent is patentable. We believe our software inventions are patentable, and the USPTO agrees.” Kelley also noted that the USPTO has yet to rule on all of MoreSteam’s portfolio of patent applications relating to data analysis technologies. He also indicated the company continues to file applications to protect its more recent developments: “We expect these pending applications to eventually mature into enforceable patents.”

About is the leading global provider of online Lean Six Sigma training and Blended Learning technology, serving over 2,000 corporate clients and over 50% of the Fortune 500 with a full suite of Lean Six Sigma e-Learning courses, EngineRoom® data analysis software, TRACtion® online Lean Six Sigma project tracking software, Crucible® online testing, and SigmaSim® online DMAIC simulations and games. was launched in the year 2000 in response to the high cost of traditional Six Sigma training and data analysis tools, and has now trained over 400,000 Lean Six Sigma professionals. MoreSteam’s mission is to enable people to advance the performance of their organizations by delivering powerful tools for process improvement to the widest possible audience at the lowest price available.

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