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Mandeep Baweja addresses the challenges around managing one of the world's largest and most complex patent portfolios, and the role tech is taking in IP management.

For large corporates, managing patent portfolios is increasingly complex. A successful IP management strategy now means strategically filing patents in multiple jurisdictions and collaborating with stakeholders and IP services across the globe. Patent portfolio managers need to embrace technology to connect people and processes.

A leading example

With tens of thousands of US and international patents and almost as many patent applications pending, Microsoft is a company with innovation at its heart. Maintaining a Corporate, External and Legal Affairs (CELA) organisation of almost 1,400 employees in 100 cities and 55 countries, Microsoft’s intellectual property group (IPG) consists of 200 engineers, attorneys, paralegals, program managers and operations executives.

In the last five years Microsoft has shifted from filing most of its patents in the US to filing in foreign jurisdictions. The IPG was looking at a significant uptick in patent volume: 10,000 US and 12,000 foreign office actions every month. With activity changing, the IPG was conducting more analysis into potential patent infringements and needed to use tools and processes that would meet its changing needs.

Microsoft required a powerful software tool to deliver best-in-class patent management capabilities.  This needed to sit alongside Microsoft’s Power BI – a suite of business analytics tools that connect to hundreds of data sources – and Microsoft Azure Cloud – a cloud computing service for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services.

Partnering for change

Working with CPA Global, Microsoft aimed to reduce patent costs and ensure the highest levels of security and data privacy, while improving data quality through best practice and audit capabilities. More efficient, powerful reporting and deeper analytics would in turn improve user satisfaction ratings across tools and process. By achieving these goals, Microsoft would improve the patent filing and managing experience for its people, create connected processes that improve stakeholder collaboration and protect its strategic business assets.

Memotech now serves as Microsoft’s patent hub and its Power BI has become the main source of reporting and patent analytics, while Azure Cloud is the home of the new end-to-end patent system.

By deploying Memotech, the CPA Global services team already responsible for patent filing, docketing and analytics could now work in the same tool - eliminating the need for patent data to be sent back and forth. Memotech’s deployment also provided Microsoft with the opportunity to evaluate and redefine its primary workflows, leveraging best practices and automation to increase overall patent management efficiency.   

A successful partnership

Since deploying Memotech three years ago, Microsoft has experienced a drop in IP IT costs of 70%, with an increase in IP efficiency of 35% in-house and 25% for its offshore team.

Microsoft has been able to transform the management of its growing patent portfolio. Positioned to meet the challenges of today’s changing IP landscape, Microsoft is better prepared for an uptick in patent filings in the future and global success in foreign jurisdictions.

When describing how Memotech has impacted her team, Melanie Carmosino, Director of IP Operations at Microsoft, says; “This is the tool of record, this is what they all use, and they love it.”

Learn more about how Microsoft worked with CPA Global