The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) reported that international patent filings rose 7.3 per cent in 2016. While other industries have long used technology applications to manage large data sets, the IP industry has been somewhat risk-averse around the benefits of automation. Overly manual processes are still used to manage and execute many IP tasks.
The silent revolution
Law firms manage thousands of individual items of IP data for their clients. With the volume and velocity of IP tasks to complete manually, there is a risk of human error in data entry. WIPO estimates that almost a quarter of patent information could be out-of-date, inaccurate or entered incorrectly. A single error, such as an incorrect renewal date, could risk the loss of assets worth millions.
Three challenges law firms face when managing IP assets:
- Managing complex regulations via paper-based processes: there are significant differences in the requirements for managing IP assets in different jurisdictions around the world and there is no central repository of documentation and country-specific requirements.
- Managing large volumes of correspondence for every case: to file for protection globally, a law firm may need to use the services of agents in dozens of countries. This requires them to manage hundreds of items of correspondence to and from different agents.
- Communications barriers: different countries and jurisdictions require different information, usually provided in local languages. Ensuring that an application has been successfully filed depends on ensuring translations are relevant and local requirements have been met.
All of this makes the process of international filings complicated, time intensive and manual.
A new way of filing
We recognise these challenges and are helping law firms address them. Inprotech – a secure IP management solution – makes the process of filing far more efficient and effective. The latest version of the software seamlessly integrates with our new File App. The File App automates the international filing process, saving time, increasing efficiencies and reducing risk of human error.
The Inprotech and File integration seamlessly connects law firms to their own trusted global agent networks, instructing multiple agents at once and receiving real-time updates on the progress of filings. Information from File is automatically transferred back into Inprotech, keeping data accurate and up to date without the need for manual effort.
There is no need for law firms to change processes or workflows to take advantage of this integration. The integrated and seamless experience reduces the administrative burden of filing significantly, enabling law firms to focus on higher value client interactions.