Lara Salameh-Boro, head of business development at CPA Global, talks to Vicky Bamforth about the new patent analytics service, and explains how it developed.
Some time ago, corporations and attorney firms began approaching CPA Global about a patent analysis service. Aware that key players in the market were earning additional revenues by managing their patents as assets, these clients were looking to CPA Global for a service that could help them do the same.
‘We listened to clients for 18 months, and as more of them approached us, we decided to do something about it,’ said Lara Salameh-Boro, head of commercial development at CPA Global. ‘First we surveyed corporations and agents globally, and then we developed a prototype service, which we demonstrated to clients.’
A clearly articulated need
Results showed that corporations wanted to use some form of patent analysis, but only 53% were doing so. For many, access to the data and software products was too expensive. The analysis could only be interpreted by staff with special skills that few but the biggest of corporations had resources to train. There were many products on the market, but it wasn’t clear which were relevant. ‘With an estimated annual cost of US$20,000 to US$50,000, and uncertain results, many corporations couldn’t make a business case for regular patent analysis,’ said Lara, ‘although 90% knew they should extract value proactively’. Even corporations and agents who undertook some analysis were not obtaining the right results, with 70% complaining the services they used did not meet their needs and were too highly priced to justify the expenditure.
It was clear that clients needed help with four key areas: strengthening the value of their portfolio; assessing merger and acquisition potentials; providing information on competitors and their portfolio strategies; and establishing the contents of their portfolios.
At AIPPI, CPA was able to demonstrate it could provide high-quality introductory analysis, in a report format; at a cost of just US$5,000. 'Responses at the conference were so positive,' said Lara, ‘that some corporations signed up straight away.’
A cost-effective, entry-level service
Armed with widespread knowledge of what the industry wanted, CPA developed patent analytics, which the business unveiled at the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) conference. CPA demonstrated that it could provide high-quality introductory analysis in a report format, at a cost of just US$5,000. ‘Responses at the conference were so positive,’ said Lara, ‘that corporations signed up straight away.’
The reports are building blocks for companies to focus on a series of issues, without investing large sums at the outset. Analysis can be developed in a tailored way. ‘It’s low risk, and clients can afford to do analysis more regularly, not reactively, when a takeover bid affects the market or once a year. It opens up huge opportunities for corporations to direct the future of their business and the market.’
Unlike most of the other providers in the patent analysis market, CPA has looked after clients’ portfolios for years, and understands what corporations want from their research and how they want to develop their patent portfolios.
Looking to the future
Today the core service is based at the Alexandria office. With a team of specialists, including patent agents, statistical analysts and computer programmers, along with advance orders, the future is looking bright. Determined to keep the service cost effective, the team is lean, but highly capable.
CPA will continue to focus on clients’ needs and as the service develops, the company will place IP consultants with specialist knowledge in its regional offices, so they can work more closely with clients and develop an in-depth understanding of their business needs.
How can CPA provide a comprehensive patent analysis service that is more cost effective than others on the market?
Most providers are either software or data providers. They sell either data or software, but these options are expensive and limited. CPA is data and software neutral and has signed up to the best software and data products on the market, to provide the best analysis and, most importantly, adds human intelligence to interpret results.
‘Clients have struggled to find such a service,’ said Lara. ‘So CPA developed the only one-stop outsourcing analysis service on the market. Clients who came to us to say there was nothing on the market, can now benefit from the service we offer.’
For more information, please contact the analytics team on +1 (703) 739 2234 or visit www.cpaglobal.com/analytics
This article first appeared in IP Review, issue 8