How Sydney-based IP law firm Cotters uses CPA Global’s cloud-based FoundationIP® software to manage its growing IP practice, improve e ciency and reduce costs.
Established in 2008, Cotters is a boutique patent and trademark law firm that specialises in providing fixed cost services to clients within the mechanical, electrical and computer sciences industries. Based in Sydney and operating throughout Australia and New Zealand, Cotters manages thousands of active IP matters on behalf of its clients at any one time.
- Implement a reliable and remotely hosted IP management system
- Automate standard routine tasks and client correspondence
- Quickly and accurately manage foreign country law updates
- Develop a customisable interface within FoundationIP that incorporates internal procedures and practice protocol
• Flexibility for partners and staff to work remotely when necessary
• Reduction in staff costs due to automation of key tasks and correspondence
• Ability to quickly and easily respond to spikes in practice workload
• Easier management of multinational patent and trademark portfolios
When firm’s was founded in 2008, the company’s key differentiating factor was its ability to deliver the same high quality service as a larger, more established IP law firm, but at a more competitive price. During the past few years, however, the IP landscape in Australia has dramatically changed and fragmented.
First, a relaxation in patent qualification requirements has reduced the barriers to entry into the market, enabling many small firms and individuals to establish businesses as patent and trademark service providers.
Second, there has been a significant move towards fixed fee billing, so much so that the model has almost become the industry norm.
While the new commercial environment has presented a number of opportunities for the practice, the increased competition from smaller firms together with the pressure to offer a more rigid price structure means that Cotters is constantly looking at ways to reduce costs and overheads, streamline workflows and processes, and improve practice efficiency and profitability.
Scalability of FoundationIP delivers flexibility needed by an expanding practice.
When Cotters first looked at purchasing an IP management system to run its new practice, the partners had three key selection criteria.
First, the system had to be easily and inexpensively implemented. Second, since the team spent a considerable amount of time travelling to conferences and visiting clients, it was important they were able to manage the business remotely. Third, the system had to help the firm operate as efficiently as possible in order to compete on a level footing with larger and more established law firms. Since FoundationIP is preconfigured and remotely hosted, there is no hardware to install and maintain, thereby eliminating the need for extensive infrastructure and expensive internal IT resources. In addition, the system’s flexible pricing structure – based on the number of matters under management – provides cost predictability and affordability. As well as automating the docketing process, which mitigates liability and reduces administrative costs, FoundationIP has many built-in IP management features, including the ability to create automated letters and custom templates. These functions have helped Cotters handle spikes in workload and process large volumes of matters with tight deadlines.
FoundationIP has enabled us to set up a dynamic and efficient practice with a very reliable and accurate docketing system. In addition, automating many key processes has enabled us to reduce staff overheads and compete with larger practices.
MARCUS DALTON - PARTNER
"Although Cotters’ main client base is in Australia and New Zealand, the company represents many companies with global interests. Therefore, one of the firm’s biggest challenges is staying abreast of the ever-changing IP laws and processes across multiple jurisdictions. In addition to automatically calculating prosecution and maintenance deadlines, FoundationIP provides automatic updates on the country laws essential to successful prosecution and maintenance."
Process automation delivers value beyond docketing management.
Remote, cloud-based system access
Remotely hosted, FoundationIP is accessible 24/7 from any location. This enables the partners to manage the business while travelling and also helps the firm adopt a flexible approach to working from home.
Automated reminders, correspondence and reporting
FoundationIP creates daily upcoming deadline reminders. Cotters has also developed an archive of some 250 different automated letters containing up to 30 fields. This capability has reduced the need for support and administrative staff.
Per item pricing provides scalability
FoundationIP’s per item pricing structure provides predictable costs while keeping pace with practice growth. The more matters under management, the more efficient the pricing structure becomes.
Automatic country law updates
In the past, Cotters had to manually check for revisions to foreign IP law or rely on foreign attorneys for information on upcoming international deadlines. FoundationIP notifies the firm of the correct processes to follow and of any changes in the respective countries’ IP laws.
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