Matthew J. Booth & Associates has strategically aligned itself with CPA Global to extend a broad range of IP and legal services to its clients while reducing its brick-and-mortar operations. The firm partners with CPA Global to reduce administration and for FoundationIP, the IP management system that gives the firm secure, online access to its entire portfolio anytime, anywhere and allows the firm to pass on savings to its clients.
Size of Global Portfolio
FoundationIP® - IP Management Software
Matthew J. Booth & Associates has strategically aligned itself with CPA Global to extend a broad range of IP and legal services to its clients.
- The firm strengthened its entire IP practice through a stable and flexible IP management system coupled with CPA Global’s wide range of expert legal resources
- Process automation permits the firm to focus more on building and retaining relationships rather than system administration
- Using FoundationIP and CPA Global resources is a cost effective solution, allowing the firm to pass on savings to its clients
Rising real estate costs associated with this traditional setup have motivated businesses to consider alternative approaches to reducing their overheads, thus making the virtual office concept more desirable. As technology advances by quantum leaps, organisations can connect easily and seamlessly with their employees, clients, suppliers and everyone in their chain of business.
In an effort to better serve his clients, Matthew J. Booth left a large Texas based general practice firm in 1999 to form his own private intellectual property (IP) firm. Matthew, along with another lawyer and Mary Ann Jones, the firm’s administrator and trademark paralegal, built a thriving practice which, within a year, was both virtual and paperless.
Matthew J. Booth & Associates is located in Austin, Texas, and provides complete IP management of patents, trademarks, and copyrights for individuals and companies.
The firm covers a wide range of industries including:
- Computer software and hardware
- Networkable audio/video systems
- Manufactured housing
- Perfumes, personal care products, and home fragrances
With 30-50 IP cases submitted annually, the firm’s typical client size is about 50 to 100 employees and includes companies such as Intrinsity, Luminary Micro, Saint Parfum, Kinro, NeedlepointNow and NetStreams.
Owning and managing a boutique IP law firm gives Matthew the flexibility to provide a wide range of offerings, allowing him to create a more dynamic level of service that can then be tailored specifically to individual client needs. This creates a loyal client base and yields referrals by both clients and attorneys alike.
IP MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES
A number of years after setting up his IP practice, Matthew and his firm started to outgrow its technology. The existing IP management system that Matthew ran on a server located in his home hampered the firm’s ability to offer clients the broadest level of services possible. Additionally these limitations hindered the firm’s ability to market its services to new clients.
The system was hard to use and inflexible in scaling with the firm’s growth. Matthew found himself spending more time managing the system rather than performing legal work and business development. In addition, the vendor he was using increased its maintenance fees, and upgrading the system would have cost nearly eight times the already rising expenditures.
Obstructing the firm’s desired growth even further was the rapidly diminishing level of service Matthew and Mary Ann received from their IP management vendor. Their confidence in the vendor had vanished and the firm found itself desiring to align with a partner that epitomised the high client- service approach that Matthew and Mary Ann had adopted in growing the firm.
Adding to the firm’s growing pains, it lacked consistent human resources to keep up with the escalating administrative IP management responsibilities. Staffing, training and retaining experienced docketers and paralegals was difficult and expensive. As a small firm, employing a full-time docketer or additional administrative and paralegal staff was costly and, during slower economic times, presented the firm with a liability rather than an asset.
The constant attention being paid to staffing demands was negatively impacting the time that the pair could spend exploring new business opportunities and maintaining current business relationships. Complicating matters further, the IP industry was beginning to experience dramatic increases in insurance premiums. These increases, along with the practice management issues the firm was experiencing, pressed Matthew to be creative in looking for solutions. Among his concerns, there were three obvious areas identified: staffing, docketing and the payment of IP annuities in-house.
Matthew wanted to be able to focus on client management, developing new relationships and preserving existing ones while offering clients the most comprehensive and up-to-date technology and services available. Burdened with growing pains and the need to control operating costs, Matthew began to explore opportunities for improving his practice. Matthew knew it was time to upgrade the firm’s IP management system and to seek IP and legal resources that would help him manage his growth effectively.
It was a cataclysmic event that prompted Matthew to immediately look outside the box for solutions: A major storm knocked out power leaving the firm without access to its server and client files for five days. Matthew knew that the potential for similar events in the future could possibly destroy the firm that he had so vigorously worked to build.
SOLUTIONS AND BENEFITS
Matthew had followed the progression of IP systems and was aware of his options. He evaluated several prospective partners but elected to work with CPA Global, a leading developer of IP management systems and trusted provider of expert IP and legal outsourcing solutions.
Matthew was looking for a strategic partner and CPA Global was prepared to help his firm achieve its goals. Solidifying his decision was the trusted cooperation with CPA Global representatives that Matthew and Mary Ann had established throughout their tenure in the IP field. FoundationIP, CPA Global’s hosted software solution for managing IP, would give the firm secure, online access to its entire portfolio anytime, anywhere. Just as appealing, Matthew could also give clients personalised access to their files.
FoundationIP’s modular technology was also attractive to Matthew as he envisioned the growth of his firm. Concurrently, CPA Global offered a full suite of legal services that would allow Matthew to staff his virtual office, increasing the firm’s capabilities without having to maintain additional operational overhead.
The combination of these elements would give Matthew the power to be a full-service firm offering first-rate services and products that were more cost effective than his larger competitors. Bundling FoundationIP and CPA Global’s extensive legal services gives Matthew the ability to fully function as a complete IP practice firm.
Aside from reducing costs, Matthew J. Booth & Associates has decreased risks and operational and administrative time by utilising CPA Global. In return, the firm realises better profit margins and is able to be more efficient, offering its clients a broad suite of IP products and services.
CPA GLOBAL IP AND LEGAL OUTSOURCING SERVICES
Tapping into CPA Global’s expert and specialised staff on demand has given Matthew J. Booth & Associates advantages over other firms by delivering unparalleled IP services without the lofty rates the industry expects. With CPA Global resources as the cornerstone of its strength, the firm is able to control operating costs and meet or exceed clients’ expectations. The bandwidth CPA Global provides gives the firm a transparent approach to managing its clients. The firm can methodically plan and swiftly respond to special projects and spikes in business activities with the resources provided by CPA Global.
The firm can optimise its client service delivery by using CPA Global’s wide-ranging legal services:
Docketing was typically the most administratively-tasked responsibility and took up a majority of the firm’s time. The firm transferred this entire responsibility to CPA Global by offloading 400 cases, and Mary Ann estimates she has gained up to 12 more hours per week to concentrate on the firm’s other essential objectives.
With a CPA Global specialist managing docketing for Matthew J. Booth & Associates, the firm doesn’t struggle with staffing requirements or risk human-related errors.
Paying annuities on behalf of its clients was costly and risky for the firm: Insurance premiums were high for those who held this responsibility and risks of human-driven mistakes were probable.
Since outsourcing this to CPA Global, Matthew J. Booth & Associates doesn’t have to manually manage the payments, eliminating the likeliness for missed deadlines and the subsequent associated risks that could lead to loss of IP rights. “Our firm doesn’t want to be a ‘bank,’ hover over deadlines or be a victim of human-driven errors. Using CPA Global as our annuity agent improves the firm’s cash flow and allows us to focus on strategic business objectives.
CPA Global has also done an excellent job in working with our clients to seamlessly meet their annuity requirements,” says Matthew. “We are really helping our clients realise more value in other areas of IP development rather than the administration of their annuities,” adds Matthew.
Matthew J. Booth & Associates can take on special projects and larger clients by using CPA Global’s on-demand paralegal resources. These resources help the firm handle heavy administrative activities such as scanning and transferring paper files into electronic files for paper based clients. For a small firm, hiring, training, and retaining an experienced IP staff is very expensive and time consuming. Employing CPA Global’s expert staff to scale with the firm’s needs has been cost effective and consistently dependable with quality outcomes.
Matthew J. Booth & Associates can now propose proofreading services as a cost-effective option to its clients, broadening the firm’s service offerings. Previously, most clients declined patent proofreading due to its high costs. “Individuals and companies shouldn’t neglect proofreading. This time-consuming, but important step, can notify applicants of errors that can affect the patent’s enforceability.
Being able to extend our services to include proofreading transparently through CPA Global adds value to our total client services approach,” explains Matthew.
This step has become more crucial as more sophisticated applications are filed. In order to ensure the patentability of its clients’ product, the firm has incorporated this service as part of its standard service proposal. With more than 100 worldwide patent searchers specialising in many areas of expertise and the completion of 25,000 patent search projects in its resume, CPA Global is one of the largest searching entities in the world. CPA Global’s diverse researchers conduct exhaustive searches using the best available databases of patent and non-patent literature.
Previously, the firm had used several patent researchers; however, it was looking for one partner to handle all its patent searching requirements. As Matthew explains, “A single contact point gives us access to much more expertise and in more technical fields than we previously had with other vendors.”
Matthew J. Booth & Associates plans to continue as a full-service IP firm and extend its capabilities through FoundationIP and CPA Global’s first-in-class legal support services. The hosted, flexible IP management system will create more visibility into the firm’s portfolio and assist the firm in making business development decisions confidently.
Employing the bandwidth of CPA Global resources to strengthen its entire practice permits Matthew J. Booth & Associates to successfully grow its client base without having to increase its headcount and its operational costs.
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