NEWS & EVENTS
Putting the Client First
Hugo T. Berkemeyer explains how Patricia® has helped Paraguay’s Berkemeyer Attorneys and Counselors to focus on its clients’ needs.
Founded in Paraguay in 1951, Berkemeyer Attorneys and Counselors provides expert legal services to clients at an international and local level, gaining a global reputation for quality, expertise and professionalism.
We pride ourselves on our ability to meet clients’ needs directly, providing professional and practical advice of the highest quality, and employing teamwork and collaboration to render services in a thorough yet timely manner.
We implemented Patricia® in 2011 to replace our in-house system, which only covered our basic needs. We wanted to introduce functionalities that would help us in our daily work and allow us to do much more than simple docketing.
Patricia’s functionalities have allowed us to improve and expand the services we offer to our clients, and to improve our internal processes as well. For example, it has enhanced the control of processes relating to due dates, renewal payments, costs, invoicing, and related document management.
We would not swap Patricia for any other IP software. It has become a very useful tool in the daily improvement of our work. It supports us in the control and optimization of our available resources. It is an easy system to follow, and has helped us to provide faster and more efficient answers to our clients.
To read more about Berkemeyer Attorneys and Counselors’ experiences of working with Patrix, or to find out more about how Patricia could help your IP department or law firm, read the full case study or get in touch at: email@example.com.
Are You Prepared for the Future of Automation?
Automation isn't about replacing people's jobs, it's about reducing risk and the heavy lifting associated with IP administration. Make sure your systems and workflows are prepared for 2020.
It’s an exciting time to be an IP professional. Technological advances have led to ever increasing opportunities for digitization and automation, replacing risk and monotony with efficiency and responsiveness. As we enter the final quarter of 2019, now may be the time to take stock of your tools and working practices to ensure you are in good shape for the challenges ahead.
Does your existing IP management system support how your organization is currently working or wishes to work? Does it enable collaboration with your associates, outside counsel, clients and/or inventors? Does it help to streamline your operations, e.g. through document or correspondence management, financial projections or client reporting? Is your supplier visibly investing in product and service development? Are they adding new capabilities to facilitate data verification and automation of routine workflows?
It may be that you already have the right technology in place to support your IP department in the years to come, but you haven’t had the change to configure it to support your procedures or deliverables. Alternatively, you may find that your existing system is falling behind the curve of technological progress.
GET THE SUPPORT YOU NEEDTechnology evolves quickly, and your business’s IP support tools should too. If you are using your system to simply manage deadlines, or the capabilities of your existing IP management system are not being regularly updated, then your supplier may not be providing you with the support or tools your business needs to make the most of its IP assets.
We are entering a new era of IP management software. One that will provide your business with a competitive edge, by streamlining processes, introducing efficiencies and delivering the insight necessary to drive decision making. Make sure you are fully prepared for the future of IP automation by speaking to Patrix IP Helpware today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why the Future of IP Management is Automation
The ability to transfer and verify data digitally is a game changer for the IP profession.
It has taken some time for the traditionally paper-heavy IP profession to switch to digital record keeping. However, with vast swathes of all our work now taking place online and by email, we’ve had no choice but to adapt our working processes: first, to keep pace with the flow of electronic information, then to manage the resulting data. The next step is to fully embrace its potential.
As we’ve switched from paper to digital record keeping, the volume of electronic information that is being created, shared and transmitted daily has grown exponentially. As a result, we’ve had to rethink our approach to document and correspondence management, and data and storage security.
It has also driven changes to our working practices. Whereas once it would take days or weeks for instructions to be delivered and carried out, today’s communication is almost instantaneous with the sender expecting an equally prompt reply.
A CHALLENGE AND AN OPPORTUNITY
While technology has sped up the receipt of instructions and added pressure to turnaround times, it has also helped IP departments and law firms to carry out routine administrative tasks more efficiently. Why manage records independently, when access can be shared to enable collaboration? Why enter IP records manually when data can be pulled directly from the relevant register, or so easily verified against official records to ensure accuracy?
In this respect, the ability to transfer data digitally has potential for the IP profession to make major step forwards; not only in driving efficiency and reducing costly human error, but also in ensuring IP record validity, which is the foundation for any robust IP portfolio enforcement strategy.
EMBRACING THE POTENTIAL
IP management software plays a pivotal role in enabling IP departments and law firms to benefit from the increasing digitalization of the profession, including modernizing ways of working.
administrators to move away from time-consuming data entry onto more strategic tasks.
Solutions such as Patricia® enable users to share and verify data in real time, manage related documents and correspondence, and automate common processes and workflows. This allows
Technology moves quickly and is all consuming in both our personal and professional lives. While the legal sector has typically been slow to adopt, it is clear that this is beginning to change – and changing fast. There is a potentially limited window to get an IT roadmap in place for your corporate IP department or law firm.
Contact us today at email@example.com for advice and insight on how to get started, or benchmark your business by organizing a technology audit.
PATRIX AND BLACK HILLS IP PARTNER TO PROVIDE FULL DOCKETING AUTOMATION IN IP MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Göteborg, SWEDEN — September 12, 2019 — Patrix AB today announced a new strategic partnership with Black Hills IP, a leader in IP docketing management for law firms and corporate legal departments. The partnership enables Patrix to more closely integrate its IP case management software with automated docketing solutions from Black Hills IP.
Patrix is the developer of Patricia, a leading solution for IP case management and docketing used across the globe by top IP law firms and corporate IP groups. Black Hills IP is an innovator of software systems that fully automate docketing operations of leading IP practices to simplify managing data from U.S. and international patent and trademark offices.
Through closer integration, Patrix and Black Hills IP will provide our common customers the ability to leverage the power of Patricia with enhanced automated docketing. Black Hills IP’s systems extract, enhance and load data from patent and trademark offices directly into Patricia. This partnership enables our customers to achieve a higher quality level than human docketing alone and to realign their workforce into higher value roles than manual data entry for docketing and case management purposes.
“At Patrix, we are firmly committed to offering our customers the flexibility to configure their case management workflows to best support how their operations work,” said Mehrdad Assadi, Chief Technology Officer, Patrix. “Through closer collaboration with Black Hills IP, the power of artificial intelligence can be realized to modernizing IP operations in combination with world-class case management software.”
“We are excited to combine our expertise in the management of big data, essential to efficient IP operations, with the power of Patricia,” said Russ Slifer, Chief Executive Officer, Black Hills IP. “Customers are no longer limited to choosing between maintaining an internal staff to perform manual data entry in their docket system or outsourcing data entry to a vendor that often uses foreign-based labor.”
ABOUT BLACK HILLS IPBorn from the desire to leverage artificial intelligence to transform legal operations, Black Hills IP has developed proprietary software that fully automates the complex processes of docketing U.S. and international patent and trademark data. Black Hills IP works with law firms and corporate legal departments to modernize their case management operations using our automated docketing services. To learn more, visit www.BlackhillsIP.com.
ABOUT PATRIXPatrix AB and Patrix USA Inc., specialize in developing and implementing software solutions for the intellectual property community, with Patricia®, an all-inclusive, platform agnostic, IP case management system that has helped IP professionals for over 25 years across 5 continents in more than 50 countries. Regardless of clients’ size or practice model, Patrix implements best practices and provides efficient support for the day to day management of their business. Patrix also provides transparent payment and renewal services globally, with cost efficient and transparent fee arrangements, for any sized organization. To Learn more, visit www.patrix.com.
Digital Document Management: No More Paper Files!
For modern IP departments and law firms to completely move away from paper files, they first need to be confident that documents and correspondence linked to each IP matter is correctly stored and easily accessible. Given the volume of documents, emails and letters that can be generated by a single case, this is easier said than done.
It is often said that the legal sector is slow to adopt new technologies, with reluctance to change blamed on the risk-averse nature of the profession. However, there is nothing particularly secure about printing vast swathes of sensitive information to carry around in paper files.
Document Management Systems (DMS) have brought traditional case management into the digital world. They enable users to flick through documents and view their content, just as they would with a physical case file. At the same time, however, they help businesses and law firms control document volume (and paper wastage), while allaying concerns that material information could be missed.
Better still, they enable users to search through the vast volumes of data that such documents typically contain, so that they can access the relevant information instantly, irrespective of document type. They also harness technology to provide access to earlier versions of documents, including the history of when the document was edited and by whom.
Advanced systems, such as the Extended DMS, available for Patricia®, also features sophisticated email-sending capacities and automatic letter generation, so that correspondence can be also be captured and reviewed as part of the case management process.
Putting IP Tech At The Core of Your Business
Why IP management software Patricia® was selected to support record management at Vivien Chan & Co, one of the premier full service law firms in Greater China.
Over more than 30 years of doing business in Greater China, Vivien Chan & Co has developed an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the legal culture and market dynamics. Our teams have both deep local roots and an integrated global perspective that is necessary to help both domestic businesses and multinational companies.
We have been using Patricia® for more than 10 years. As our client base grew and their IP portfolios became more international, we began looking for a specialized IP software that would enable us to manage our clients’ assets efficiently. As our firm has grown and the IP portfolios of our clients have become more international, we found that just a little reconfiguration or updating has been required to meet the needs of our expanding practice.
All businesses require assistance from technology, and businesses that succeed are often good at using technology to assist their operations. We made a decision to invest in Patricia to manage our clients’ assets, which proved to be the right choice.
DAY TO DAY BENEFITSPatricia makes a difference in streamlining our work and managing the work duties of our team. We use various aspects of Patricia on a daily basis, aspects that assist our firm in providing high-quality services to our clients as well as our internal operations. Examples include recording information relating to our clients’ IP portfolios, and client lists showing all the IP rights of trademark owners, which enables us to easily provide regular status updates to our clients.
Generating task lists of outstanding and pending work with internal and external deadlines for each team member helps our team to manage their work duties and prioritize matters according to their urgency. Patricia is a big help in ensuring that our team is alert to pressing deadlines. While a direct connection between the investment and profit may not be that easily drawn, we believe that Patricia does play a role in our reputation as renowned law firm in IP in Greater China.
To read more about Vivien Chan & Co’s experiences of working with Patrix, or to find out more about how Patricia could help your IP department or law firm, read the full case study or get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Us About a Patricia® Audit
Patrix IP Helpware is committed to helping ensure that you optimize your use of the Patricia® IP management tool. To make sure you’re making the most of the capabilities, why not schedule an audit?
Implementing a new IP management system provides the opportunity to step back and look at your systems, data and processes with fresh eyes. But, once that initial implementation phase has been completed, other priorities naturally take over. Before you know it, years have passed, and you haven’t had a chance to look again at those ‘phase two’ deliverables, let alone assessed whether the configuration continues to support your procedures as well as it could.
Yet, making better use of the technology you already have could make all the difference when it comes to improving efficiency, resource utilization, service levels, responsiveness and client satisfaction.
TAKING THE TIME TO IMPROVE
Our Business Analysis & Audit service provides the opportunity to reassess your system set-up to ensure that it continues to support your business as it evolves, as well as verifying that you are making the best use of the latest technological developments. Our subject matter experts will work with you to review your current processes and use of Patricia, identifying areas for improvement that support your latest requirements and future goals, and advising on ways to streamline your procedures and optimize use of Patricia’s functionalities.
Technology is crucial to business success. By improving the speed, accuracy and quality of IP management, Patricia can help your IP department or law firm meet its goals to maximize business potential and profitability.
For an initial discussion on how our Patricia® Business Analysis & Audit service can benefit your organization, email email@example.com.
Time to Schedule an IP Technology Audit?
Taking the time to audit your IP management software, and the ways in which you use it, could lead to time, budget and resourcing efficiencies down the line.
The better your IP management system, the less work your back office will need to do to ensure data is accurate and deadlines are met. While the task of keeping track of dates is the most important function of any IP support system, modern IP management software provides sophisticated out-of-the-box functionality to facilitate and/or automate administrative tasks.
The first step in any IP technology audit should be to assess whether your current system delivers the capabilities and support you need for your IP department or law firm; for example, correspondence management, automatic letter and invoice generation, electronic document handling, data verification, customizable reporting, collaboration portals and client relationship management (CRM) capabilities. The second should be to assess whether you are making the most of those capabilities.
POWERING THE ENGINEIntegrating the right technology into your processes and workflows will help to automate time-consuming day-to-day administrative demands, minimizing costs as well as the risks of human error. It will also enable you to update your business practices if required; for example, to accommodate the need to access IP records securely while out of the office or on a smartphone. Rapid access to data and reporting is crucial if an IP owner is to make informed decisions, especially when deadlines are tight – or unexpected.
It is equally important to ensure that the data driving those decisions is accurate and effectively maintained. Your IP management platform should remove much of that worry, through its data verification functionality (i.e. by checking IP against records held by patent and trademark offices that are web-enabled), reporting capabilities and data mining tools. The latter help to identify potential vulnerabilities, track and clean errors in the records, and run regular metrics on ROI to justify future budgetary needs.
GETTING THE RIGHT SUPPORTAs we have written previously, implementing IP software is not a one-off or static project. Technological advancements, and political and legislative changes, mean that the solution you select needs to receive the appropriate level of guidance and ongoing support. In particular, your suppliers should provide you with the assistance you need to make the most of your IP systems. If you’re having to manually work around or pay a premium for tasks that could and should be automated, it is likely time to evaluate your suppliers. The same is true if you’re still only using your IP management system for basic docketing tasks. To find out if your current IP management system measures up, read our article: 4 Reasons Why It May Be Time to Upgrade Your IP Management Software’.
If you are a Patricia® customer and would like to organize a review or additional training for your team, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget that you can also find helpful video tutorials on all of Patricia’s capabilities on our YouTube page.
Has Your Firm Embraced Technology?
Law firms that aren’t able to provide clients with easy and secure access to their IP records risk being completely outpaced by the speed of change.
It’s not news that law firms are under pressure from clients to provide round-the-clock access to their data, and yet many firms are still not set up to do so. Lack of IT resources or expertise, concerns over data security and liability, anxieties over data quality and accuracy, lack of time or appetite, and reliance on multiple legacy systems are just some of the biggest barriers to change.
However, rather than shy away from the challenge, firms should be looking to capitalize on the technology and tools that exist to drive efficiencies and profitability, without compromising security or accuracy. Today’s IP management software provides sophisticated and valuable capabilities out-the-box, such as digital file checks, direct email, powerful report generation, automated letter and form production, financial tracking and invoicing, cost estimation, time registration and electronic document handling, as well as client relationship management (CRM) capabilities. A good way to begin benchmarking your law firm in light of the available technology is to consider how many of these processes you still manage manually. The next step is to identify the barriers that are holding you back from updating them.
GET YOUR FIRM UP TO SPEEDIf lack of time and resources, or a reliance on multiple legacy systems, is your biggest barrier to change, then the best place to begin is by scoping out the project and the time and effort that will be required to implement it. By documenting the process, it naturally becomes less daunting, and will enable you to properly schedule and organize the work.
Lack of appetite at the top of the firm is most easily addressed by setting out clearly the business case for change (and the likely impact of not doing so). Despite the effort that may be required, there are major financial benefits for a firm in automation and data standardization.
Concerns over data security, as well as lack of internal IT specialists, can be overcome with the right supplier. Be sure to partner with an IP management vendor, however, that not only delivers the technology and ongoing support you need, but also one that is also continuing to invest in the development of its own technology and services. (This is rarer than you might suppose.)
At Patrix IP Helpware, we believe sharing best practice is the key to our clients’ future success. From how to better harness today’s IP tools and technologies, to workload and workflow management, we share experiences and preferred approaches in order to develop and drive forward industry best practices. Please get in touch at email@example.com to find out more.
Get up to Speed: 5 Reasons to Embrace Automation
Advances in IP technology are enabling IP departments and law firms to put automation at the heart of their IP management practices.
IP management is a highly administrative and specialist process, making it particularly prone to human error. For this reason, double docketing processes and other such back-office routines have been put in place to ensure that rights are safely and securely docketed and maintained – and for good reason.
However, what was necessary to ensure data accuracy 10 or even five years ago is no longer the case today, thanks to electronic filing, data exchanges and the automation tools that now come as standard in case management systems, such as Patricia®. Here are five reasons why your organization should embrace the potentials of automation.
1.REMOVES DATA HEADACHES
Inputting large volumes of sensitive and valuable data is demanding. Fortunately, technology and tools now exist to automatically verify data; for example, data exchanges with patent and trademark offices, which facilitate automatic docketing as well as case validation. The docketing professional still controls and validates the process; they let the technology do the heavy lifting, easing their workload so they can focus on quantity and quality, rather than the time-consuming task of data entry.
2. NO MORE MISSED DEADLINES
“Automation” isn’t just about the way data is entered into the system, but also in the way that it is pulled out of the system, whether in terms of tailored reports or the generation of office actions, renewal reminders or invoicing. Importantly, the software is also able to capture the processes, knowledge and expertise that until now has only existed in docketing professionals’ heads, in paper files or in sticky note reminders on their desks.
3. IMPROVES COLLABORATION
Gone are the days of the law firm as the sole data owner of its clients’ IP assets. Modern IP management systems and workflows enable greater collaboration between firm and client, and key suppliers and stakeholders, such as agents, inventors or patent and trademark offices. This in turn reduces duplication of effort and labour-intensive data entry; minimizes the headaches of correspondence and document management; and streamlines the process of acquiring and protecting IP assets.
4. CUSTOMIZABLE TO YOUR BUSINESS AND CLIENTS
All IP software enables organizations to build in workflows to manage IP processes, deadlines and associated tasks; however, Patricia also enables businesses to customize workflows to automatically generate office actions or reminders to match the portfolio or client requirements.
5. IMMEDIATE RESULTS
Technology has modernized the ways in which we all work and communicate. The right IP software should provide businesses and law firms with a competitive edge, by streamlining processes, introducing efficiencies and delivering the insight necessary to drive decision making. Indeed, it is this ability to see the whole picture of IP that is key to effective IP portfolio management. For that to work, you need to be able to trust the data you hold in your systems, and to access it quickly and via whichever channel you prefer.
At Patrix IP Helpware, we believe sharing best practice is the key to our clients’ future success. From how to better harness today’s IP tools and technologies, to workload and workflow management, we share experiences and preferred approaches in order to develop and drive forward industry best practices. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
The Importance of Automation
Technology is revolutionizing the ways in which organizations are managing and communicating data. Andrew Currier, co-founding partner of the innovative Canadian IP firm, Perry+Currier Inc, explains why cultural change is required at the top of an organisation if firms are to fully embrace the potential of automation.
After working for several years at large IP firms, I felt there was a need to modernize the way IP is practiced. There were tremendous opportunities for automation nearly everywhere I looked. I also advise and spent time in-house at various tech startups, where I caught the entrepreneurial bug. At a certain point I thought: “Hey, there really is a way to modernize IP practice and be an entrepreneur too.”
One of our motivations when founding Perry+Currier Inc (PCK) was to anchor the firm around technology. We had both seen in our previous firms that a failure to embrace specialized IP software was at best going to impair growth and quality, and at worst could lead to missed deadlines. We have been using Patricia® since the firm’s inception in June 2006. You might even call Patricia a silent founding partner!
SHAKING UP THE SECTOR
In our view, the broader legal marketplace is still struggling to grasp just how powerful and seismic a change that technology and automation can be. We believe that law in general, and IP specifically, is in the middle of the same kind of transformation that the automotive industry went through in the 1920s with the introduction of the assembly line, or the kind of transformation financial services went through starting from the early 1990s as electronic exchange platforms began to replace traditional trading floors. Most firms are now grasping the need for automation, but in our view many still struggle with its implementation despite paying lip service to it.
At PCK, we are perhaps lucky that both founding partners [Steve Perry and Andrew Currier] have electrical engineering backgrounds. We are in sense “hardwired” to appreciate how technology can benefit an IP practice.
GETTING THE RIGHT SUPPORT
We believe Patricia’s configuration flexibility is key. Historically, a firm would generate printed manuals or rely on ad hoc individual training to set policies and best practices. With Patricia, we are able to embed policies and best practices directly into each user’s computing environment. Changing a policy or procedure now simply involves editing with the Patricia configuration tool, rather than rewriting manuals, printing them or holding training sessions to enforce them.
Likewise, we have been able to rapidly adapt to clients who on insist on certain practices; we simply program their practice requirements directly into Patricia. This means that users have automatic instructions on their desktops that advise how to meet a particular client’s service standards. As a result of our ability to respond so quickly, we have seen clients consolidate work with our firm from other firms that have been unable to respond so quickly.
EVOLVING WITH TECHNOLOGYThe track record of success is such that the firm continues to invest further in configuring Patricia, now employing four people whose only job is automation. Make no mistake, the investment is significant and should be, but rewards far outweigh the investment and are better returns than if we were running the old fashioned way.
To read more about PCK’s experiences of working with Patrix, or to find out more about how Patricia could help your IP department or law firm, read the full case study or get in touch at: email@example.com.
Bringing IP records online: DIY or off the shelf?
Many IP firms are choosing to develop their own client portals, citing dissatisfaction with the solutions provided by many suppliers. While their reasons are understandable, any technology developed purely in-house does risk becoming outmoded over time. We compare the DIY and off-the-shelf approaches.
It’s not news that IP firms are under pressure from clients to provide round-the-clock access to their data, and yet many firms are still not set up to do so. Lack of IT resources or expertise, concerns over data security and liability, anxieties over data quality and accuracy, lack of time or appetite, and reliance on multiple legacy systems are just some of the biggest barriers to change.
Law firms that aren’t able to provide clients with easy and secure access to their IP records aren’t just behind the technology curve, they risk being completely outpaced by the speed of change. Indeed, so rapidly has technology evolved that, for some firms, the amount of work required to bring their businesses up to speed can seem an insurmountable task. Little wonder that so many firms are still putting it off or opting for ‘quick fixes’ to satisfy clients.
OUTSOURCE OR INHOUSE?
While it is possible to build a web portal on top of any docketing system, there are a number of additional factors here to be considered. These include for example, set-up cost, ongoing investment, data accuracy and interactivity with associated business systems.
IT systems require continuous investment if they are to remain fit for purpose as technology evolves. This is as true for IP management systems, as it is for other business systems, such as finance or document management. In some cases, even more so, given that IP software has advanced to enable greater interoperability and communication between complementary systems, both internally (e.g. with finance) and externally (e.g. with patent and trademark offices).
For this reason, the cost and demands of building a client portal in-house should be considered in light of the ongoing investment necessary to maintain it. Such systems may look quickly out of date if, for example, they do not also meet client expectations or facilitate related tasks, such as sending instructions, or generating reminders, budget estimates or reports.
Data accuracy is another key consideration. Where client portals are developed in-house, there is the added pressure of checking and correcting client records (potentially manually), in comparison to more collaborative IP systems that, for example, can automate the process of data verification or grant access to agents to provide such updates.
Most of these off-the-shelf IP management systems also have client portals in place. The Patricia Collaboration Portal, for instance, allows organizations to integrate any number of clients, departments, related management, stakeholders, inventors, associates and counsel into the IP data flow. Depending on their level of access/clearance, they will be able to view, search, report, update, document, status and send instructions securely online. The Portal is fully customizable and can be white-labelled to match a law firm’s corporate branding.
FINDING THE RIGHT SOLUTION
Ultimately, the goal for all organizations is to use technology to organize, understand and make better use of data. Here, the right platform can be a game changer. By structuring, verifying and quality assuring data, law firms will be better able to analyze their clients’ assets, provide them with 24/7 access to accurate records, and help them to budget and plan future activity. This brings great value both to a business and its legal advisors.
If lack of time and resources, or a reliance on multiple legacy systems, is your firm’s biggest barrier to change, then the best place to begin is by scoping out the project and the time and effort that will be required to implement it. By documenting the process, it naturally becomes less daunting, and will enable you to properly schedule and organize the work. (For assistance here, please see our article ‘How to select an IP management system’).
Concerns over data security, as well as lack of internal IT specialists, can be overcome with the right supplier. Be sure to partner with an IP management vendor, however, that not only delivers the technology and ongoing support you need, but also one that is also continuing to invest in the development of its own technology and services. This is rarer than you might suppose.
Find out more about the Patricia Collaboration Portal or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting a Head Start on Docketing
Many startup firms begin by docketing IP rights on spreadsheets or other such methods of data storage, until they reach a size when IP software becomes an urgent necessity. This wasn’t the case at specialist Swiss IP firm Wild Schnyder, where founding partners Donald Schnyder and Dr Peter Wild recognized the importance of implementing IP management software back when the firm was first founded in 2001. Donald Schnyder explains why.
We have always used specialized software, rather than spreadsheets or Excel documents at Wild Schnyder. When we started our own firm we were of the opinion that off-the-shelf specialist IP software is much more cost efficient than building and programming your own.
Our main focus is the whole IP field except patents. We support our clients mainly in cases revolving around trademarks, unfair competition, copyrights, domain name, design, company names, and so on.
As we planned to start out at a certain size, we knew from the beginning that we needed specialized IP software and that the investment in Patricia and Patrix IP Helpware services would soon pay out.
THE PERSONAL TOUCHAs we started from scratch, I never had concerns implementing the system as we could build our firm around the software and there were no really big problems apart from the usual considerations when you start with any new software. Patrix has always been very helpful and quickly on site when required.
At the beginning, they sent people to Switzerland to show how Patricia worked. After about two years when the heat of the first build up was over, I did refine all the workflows and started to use more and more parts of Patricia. We therefore could grow without hiring more staff to a certain extent.
EVOLVING WITH YOUR BUSINESS
Patricia is a flexible system. Once you know how it works, it is logical and easy to program. It makes you think about your setup, which is very positive because you find out quite easily where you can enhance your business procedures. There are no exact figures, but it is only a gut feeling, which tells me that we received plenty of return on our investment in Patricia, and that our profits are much bigger than without it.
Patricia grows with the business. It does not matter how much data you put in, it is never a question of capacity. Although it has become quite big, Patrix is a kind of family. All contact by phone and the personal meetings are very friendly and family business like.
To read more about Wild Schnyder’s experiences of working with Patrix, or to find out more about how Patricia could help your IP department or law firm, read the full case study or get in touch at: email@example.com.
Preparing for the Future of IP Docketing
An efficient back office is crucial for the success of any IP department or law firm. In preparation for our March 26 networking lunch in Washington, DC on ‘The future of IP docketing: an in-house perspective’, we examine best practice in this rapidly evolving field.
Docketing is at the very heart of the IP management process. A mistake or a missed deadline here and there will be penalties to pay. Little wonder then that many IP departments and law firms have been traditionally slow to adopt new technologies or ‘shortcuts’, fearing that it might risk introducing error into a highly administrative process.
These days, of course, IP management technology has evolved to the point that not embracing its capabilities poses businesses the bigger risk. This is particularly the case as back office pressure and workloads continue to increase, while their resources do not.
DOING MORE WITH LESSA good way to begin benchmarking your IP department or law firm in light of the available technology is to consider how many of the following processes are still managed manually:
- Due Dates
- Law Updates
- Invoice Management
- Document Creation, Storing and Tracking
- Email Correspondence
- Official Records
- Electronic Filing
- Batch Processing
- Workflows and Tracking
- Invention Submissions
- Reporting, Including Budget Estimates
These are just some of the administrative tasks and processes that can be more efficiently managed via an IP management tool; in particular by reducing duplication of effort and labour-intensive data entry, as well as helping to better control and store correspondence, and manage documents.
Handling large volumes of sensitive and valuable data is demanding. However, technology and tools exist to help drive efficiencies and profitability, without compromising security or accuracy. Rather than spending their time manually docketing data or running reports, staff can be redeployed onto more strategic tasks, such as verifying data quality or on data mining for example.
With today’s pressure ‘to do more with less’, the reality is that IP departments and their law firms won’t be able to drive efficiencies in back-office work if they’re still entering, validating or reporting on data manually.
SHARING BEST PRACTICES
At Patrix IP Helpware, we believe sharing best practice is the key to our clients’ future success. From how to better harness today’s IP tools and technologies, to workload and workflow management, and future pressures and opportunities, sharing experiences and preferred approaches is crucial for developing and driving forward best practices.
Please join us at our IP networking lunch tomorrow, March 26, in downtown Washington, DC to find out more, or get in touch to set up a meeting at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time for a Spring Clean? Six Priorities for the Next Six Months
Keep on track with your 2019 priorities with our six-point guide for harnessing the potential of IP management technology for your business or law firm.
1. MAKE TECHNOLOGY A PRIORITY
When you’re snowed under with internal or client demands, it’s all too easy to keep putting off for tomorrow what you know you should be doing today. Unless you have a dedicated IT support team, the technology you use to manage your IP is more than likely to fall under this category. The sooner you start planning, the easier the process of upgrade will be. Start with a review of your current systems and processes, and a comparison of the tools and technologies that you could be using to bring your IP department or law firm bang up to date.
2. ASSESS THE ISSUES
It could be that your IP management system is perfectly fit for purpose, you’re just not using it as well as you could be. Vendors are adding new tools and functionality all the time, but not everyone is providing their users with the training or information on those upgrades to properly exploit them. Alternatively, you may not have a sophisticated tool at all, or are trapped using a bunch of legacy systems that are not setup to talk to each other, let alone share data or streamline workflows. Identifying the technological hurdles that you will need to overcome is the first step to introducing the improvements your business or law firms sorely needs.
3. IMPROVE WHAT YOU HAVE OR REPLACE WITH SOMETHING BETTER
Staying static is no longer a viable option. Either speak to your existing vendor to bring your workflows and your teams fully up to speed or start looking for a new supplier. The sooner you start the process, the sooner the right tools will be in place to take your business or law firm forward in 2019. For specific guidance on selecting a new IP management system, including criteria for shortlist and selection, and questions to ask during the shortlisting process, please read our article ‘How to… select an IP management system’ (see list left).
4. GET COLLABORATING
No IP department is an island, and as technology continues to advance at lightning speed, so too do our workloads. Simply put, it’s no longer possible to process the tasks and data related to IP matters in the same way businesses or law firms did 10, even 5 years ago. These days, you need to be able to allow your trusted IP partners to safely and securely access your IP portfolio records and record-keeping systems if you’re to stand any chance of keeping on top of the information flow. That means implementing an IP management system that includes a customizable portal, which provides users with exactly the right information, tools and levels of access, while maintaining the highest standards of usability, data integrity and security (find out about the Patricia® Collaboration Portal).
5. CLEAN OUT YOUR INBOX
It’s not only that employees are drowning under the number of emails they receive on a daily basis, the reality is that many of those emails contain critical data relating to a business’s IP rights. If that data isn’t extracted and properly stored, it risks disappearing into the depths of the employee’s email inbox. Free your business or law firm from the risk of a missed or incorrectly stored email, including those containing key deadlines or documentary evidence, by using your IP system to manage your case-related email correspondence.
6. TAKE BACK CONTROL
If you store your IP data in more than one system or with a law firm that does not have a web-enabled portal for you to access it, you’ll always feel as if you’re playing catch-up. The good news is that it really doesn’t need to be that way! Today’s IP systems should be sophisticated enough to enable companies and law firms to access case data via one centralized log-in, facilitating the automatic tracking of due dates, laws/regulations, standard forms, time and cost registration, invoicing and document management, including mail merge activities and batch processing. If you don’t have those capabilities or you don’t have workflows in place to automate and monitor those tasks, then now is the time to act. Set your own priorities for change with our article: ‘Are you making the most of your IP assets?’.
For more tips and advice on implementing the best IP management software for your company or law firm, speak to Patrix today at email@example.com.
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The Future of IP: An Inhouse Perspective
Dear IP professionals,
At Patrix, we believe sharing best practice is the key to our clients’ future success. This is even more important at a time in which IP professionals are under increasing pressure to “do more with less”.
Taking as our theme “The Future of IP Docketing” the IP networking lunch will gather together attendees from a cross-section of industries to share best practices in IP docketing.
Are you coming?
How to Improve your IP Management System
In previous articles, we set out advice for selecting and implementing the right IP management tool for your business. In this article, we look at techniques for improving existing systems.
The pace of technological advancement in the IP management space is fast and exciting, but most businesses and law firms don’t have the time or resources to make sure they’re fully embracing that speed of change. With busy workloads, and client or internal deadlines to manage, many struggle to make the most of the systems they put in place. As a result, what should be a rewarding opportunity to improve a business’s way of working, quickly begins to feel like it’s causing more headaches than it’s taking away.
The good news is that it doesn’t need to be that way. Get yourself out of the technology rut with these helpful tips and techniques:
TIP 1: CONSIDER HOW LONG EXISTING ROUTINES HAVE BEEN IN PLACE
Processes, workflows and other back-office routines are put in place for a reason: most commonly, to check (and double-check) that rights are safely and securely docketed. But, what was necessary to ensure that 10 years ago is unlikely to still be the case today. Take the time to step back and look at your own routines and workflows: do they really work efficiently in today’s business environment or is it time to update them? Could your case management system be updated to help automate those processes? As competition over pricing continues to increase, the idea that ‘if it works, don’t fix it’ may no longer be the best response.
TIP 2: ASSESS WHAT YOU USE YOUR SYSTEM FOR - AND WHAT YOU COULD USE IT FOR
In particular, look to examine whether your IP management system is purely used to docket rights. Of course, the task of keeping track of dates is the most important function of any IP support system; nonetheless, businesses should be expecting something far beyond just diary information. Ask yourself: Are you expecting too little of your case management system? IP management systems continue (or should be continuing) to evolve, with new functionality added to help organizations tackle common challenges. Could you optimize the tool you already have in place to support the functions of the entire IP department better?
TIP 3: GET UP TO SPEED ON THE SYSTEMS POTENTIAL
Today’s IP management systems should provide businesses and law firms with the option to access capabilities that facilitate their ways of working. For example, digital file checks, direct email and correspondence management, report generation, automated letter and form production, financial tracking and invoicing, cost estimation, time registration, electronic document handling and collaborative ways of working, as well as client relationship management (CRM) capabilities. In other words, today’s systems have the ability to act as an enterprise and validation tool for the entire IP organization. If yours doesn’t, speak to your supplier to ask why.
TIP 4: OVERCOME HURDLES AND/OR RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
What’s stopping you from making the most of the technology’s capabilities? Do you lack the capacity in your IT team? Does your vendor not give you enough support? Do you keep putting the upgrade off due to ‘more urgent’ deadlines? Selecting and implementing an IP management system isn’t a one-off project. Technology is always evolving, and that requires businesses to evolve and adapt too. The good news is that isn’t too late to play catch-up, even if you don’t have a dedicated IT team or specialist in-house. Identifying the potential barriers to progress is often the first step in overcoming them. Remember too, that you’re not alone: your challenges will likely be the same as those of your peers and competitors. Your vendor should be able to provide you with trusted and tested solutions to common challenges.
TIP 5: INVOLVE YOUR EMPLOYEES
If you’re to make the most of any system, you need to take its users along with you. Involve attorneys and other IP professionals, together with the managers, marketing personnel, financial administrators, case administrators, IT department and clients. Consider building a project team to review and assess business needs, obtain the necessary training and ensure that new functionality or adapted ways of working are shared with the business at large. Develop a roadmap that considers and actions common challenges and opportunities, such as: Should partners/employees have the ability to work from home or other remote locations? What needs to be achieved for clients be given internet access to their IP portfolios? Is the organization ready to go paperless or, if not, ‘paper light’?
Technology offers your organization the potential of a new, smarter way of working. Make sure you’re embracing the potential of change. Find out if your current system measures up by reading our article (left): ‘Are you making the most of your assets? 5 questions to ask about your IP management software’.