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Risk Management for Law Firms
Risk Management for Law Firms
There's no room for error when it comes to the management of intellectual property (IP) Rights. Miss a renewal deadline or omit a legal formality and not only do law firms risk irretrievably damaging their clients' IP holdings, but they could also be exposing themselves to a potential malpractice suit.
And yet, IP management is low-margin and time-consuming work, often bringing law firms very little return to counterbalance the risks of missed deadlines or inaccurate data entry. That's why many law firms are seeking more intelligent methods of managing IP renewals, docketing and other administrative functions – one that allows them to guarantee their clients a risk-free service at a cost-effective price.
Typographical errors, incomplete data entry, undocumented process and insufficient staff resources are just some of the common causes for missed deadlines or compromised IP Rights. But it's not just in routine IP management tasks, such as data entry, docketing or IP renewals, that a company's assets can be inadvertently compromised in this way.
Often law firms simply inherit 'bad data' along with new client accounts or as part of a client's merger and acquisition activity.
IP portfolio transfers, in particular, are inherently risky, as they generally require law firms to identify and rectify incomplete or erroneous data, and resolve chain of title or IP Recordal issues, generally under pressure of time, fees and resources.
Similarly, strict formalities require that IP transactions, such as transfers of ownership or changes against the official record, must not only be notified to the appropriate patent and trademark offices in a timely manner, but also managed and stored appropriately within the organisation itself.
How can I mitigate this risk?
Divesting high-risk activities such as IP Recordals, renewals and docketing to CPA Global can reduce exposure and increase law firms' focus on the more substantive side of their clients' IP work. It can also help them to upscale their teams for large portfolio transfers, high-volume data verification or title update tasks, while controlling the fees payable by their clients.
In addition, CPA Global created FoundationIP, Memotech and Inprotech, three tailored IP software systems that ensure law firms and their clients have instant access to their IP portfolios and any associated documentation or deadlines. By linking the software directly to renewals, docketing, data verification and title update responsibilities, whether law firms choose to outsource all or just some of these tasks to CPA Global, they can still retain control of the process, while minimising their own risk.