Due to a rapid increase in trademark filing in the past 20 years, CPA Global estimates that the number of global trademarks available for renewal will exceed 750,000 by the end of 2008. Registrations globally have more than trebled since the 1990s, as companies increasingly look to find new ways of using their intangible assets to extend into new territories of rapid growth.
But, as companies become more aware of the value of their trademark assets, they are also looking to employ better systems for managing them. And this includes robust processes to ensure that their trademarks are renewed at the appropriate time, to meet the deadlines of relevant jurisdictions. 'That's why CPA Global has been investing heavily in its trademark renewals processes,' says Paul Hogan. 'And, it’s just the start of future innovation.'
'CPA Global has been helping clients manage their trademark renewals portfolios for almost 20 years,' explains Paul. ‘We have built our reputation by alleviating pressure on in-house teams and management, ensuring that renewal deadlines are achieved. But it doesn't end there. Just like our clients, we work to constantly innovate and improve our service.'
As part of this improvement programme, CPA Global has developed a new operating platform based on its own Inprotech software. 'Our developers at CPA Global Software Solutions, part of the CPA Global Group, have years of experience creating tailored IP software for its clients,' says Paul. 'So it made sense to leverage their expertise and knowledge of our clients to develop a new, more intelligent operating platform for trademark renewals. It has been designed to fit our clients' needs.'
Paul explains that many of CPA Global’'s clients have exact requirements for how and when they would like to organise the renewals of their trademarks and the type of information that they need to best manage their portfolios. 'Most service providers aren’t able to be that flexible, says Paul. 'But CPA Global can provide clients with a service tailored to their needs, whether they wish to instruct their trademark renewals once a year or on a case-by-case basis.'
'We've invested heavily in improving electronic processes, the quality of documentation that we provide, as well as improving our internal processes to reduce cycle times and response time.'-Paul Hogan
CPA has also developed a number of new reports to support clients in their decision-making processes. 'We've made considerable improvements to our renewals notices, invoices and formalities documents to make them easier to understand, more accurate and flexible enough to meet client needs,' explains Paul. 'The new system allows us to consolidate reports, so that information is much more dynamic and targeted.'
Paul and his team have also been working on improving the way cases are managed. 'We want to make our service as efficient as possible,' he says. 'So, we've developed the system to ensure better case management by increasing the automation of data handling and creating new tools to enable more effective account management.
'Data accuracy is always an important factor in any type of renewals work, so we've also amended the law engine that backs up the system and enhanced the checking of critical fields. In fact, the system is now so advanced that we can now tailor the reports we provide to our clients. We can personalise the information we provide, the appearance of the documents and we can even co-brand or white label the reports, if required.'
Meeting client needs
The new system was developed hand-inhand with existing clients. 'It grew out of client feedback,' says Paul. 'We wanted to know what they thought of the existing service and how we could improve it to better meet their needs. Following their responses, we've invested heavily in improving electronic processes, the quality of documentation that we provide, as well as improving our internal processes to reduce cycle times and response time.'
But Paul is keen to stress that this is just the beginning for CPA's trademark renewals service. 'The new system has also been developed as a platform for future growth,' he says. 'When it launches this year, it will be a building block for ongoing development and improvements, as we strive to meet changing client needs in the future. The trademark business has grown substantially in the past three years; this new system will help support and accelerate that growth.'
This article first appeared in IP Review issue 21