ABOUT A.A. THORNTON
A.A. Thornton & Co. is a leading firm of Intellectual Property professionals, including UK Chartered and European Patent Attorneys, Registered and European Trade Mark Attorneys and IP Solicitors. The firm is based in London and Munich and is ranked by The Legal 500 as one of the elite patent and trademark practices thanks to its representation of individuals, SMEs, academic institutions and multinational corporations including Halliburton, Chevron, British Sugar, Tyco, and pharmaceutical companies Cipla, Bial and Meda Pharma.
A.A. THORNTON’S RELATIONSHIP WITH CPA GLOBAL
CPA Global was founded in 1969 by a group of IP law firms that wanted to consolidate patent renewals into one external body to reduce administration and increase efficiencies. A.A. Thornton was one of these founding law firms, so the history between the two companies is long and closely entwined.
More recently, A.A. Thornton has been a user of Inprotech, CPA Global’s IP Management System that improves efficiencies while reducing both risk and cost. Inprotech a web-based solution now delivered by The IP Platform via Single Sign-On, is part of the new IP One software suite delivering seamless integration under-pinned by IP One Data giving you cleansed, verified, augmented and common data across your software and apps.
Having joined the company in 2011 as an attorney, Vanessa King is responsible for the administration of Inprotech as part of her current role as Business Analyst.
Before Vanessa joined the firm, her predecessor had collaborated with CPA Global to create a solid rule set to optimise the use of Inprotech within the firm.
EASY TO DEPLOY AND USE
Vanessa outlines the impact the software has on activities within A.A. Thornton:
“One of the main benefits of Inprotech is its flexibility,” comments Vanessa. “The system enables users to enter case data and it provides a huge amount of flexibility over how that information is subsequently deployed. For example, our document management system can draw information from Inprotech and create an electronic cover sheet on our electronic files in our “paper-light” environment. The data from Inprotech is also used to automatically populate email templates. This saves a significant amount of time and effort.”
Vanessa also values fast accessibility to relevant data. “One of the greatest benefits of Inprotech is the case links. These links allow users to quickly and easily access data from, and jump between, multiple systems such as the CPA Global Renew App, our document management system and official registers.
INTEGRATED CUSTOMER SERVICE
IP Renewals are an important but complex part of the IP lifecycle and A.A. Thornton continues to have a strong relationship with CPA Global to assist with this function. However, the unique service model from CPA Global means that while A.A. Thornton is alleviated of time consuming renewals administration and payment processes, it is still very much involved in looking after their clients’ portfolios such as reporting new case data and amendments to CPA Global.
This approach ensures the highest possible quality service for A.A. Thornton’s clients. As Vanessa comments, “One thing that I find particularly valuable is the relationship with my Service Account Manager at CPA Global. Communication is always quick and effective, it is extremely helpful to speak to the same person who understands the cases you work on and the laws associated with them. If there are any issues they are escalated to the relevant person via CPA Global’s internal network quickly, ensuring that issues are resolved in a timely manner”.
INTEGRATED RENEWALS SYSTEMS
A.A. Thornton’s implementation of Inprotech is configured to report new renewal case data or amendments to existing cases, for clients using CPA Global’s Renewals services, to their Patent Renewal System. This allows the renewals system to automatically calculate renewal due dates for each individual case. This integration is a key component in the way A.A Thornton deliver premium services to their clients. “The two systems combined and integrated together, along with all the other systems we use, helps me to achieve operational excellence for A.A. Thornton.”
Vanessa’s relationship with CPA Global has enhanced over time and she is now in her third year as Chairperson of the Inprotech European User Group (IEUG) – an advisory panel of users that meet quarterly to share experiences and tips, and provide feedback to help shape the future direction of the software. “I always feel that CPA Global is listening to our development needs as customers,” comments Vanessa. “In fact the whole process is extremely collaborative. The IEUG helps ensure that CPA Global has regular feedback from customers and in turn we get access to new information on the future shape of the product.”
A.A. Thornton has also attended CPA Global’s annual software conferences. Indeed, Vanessa is a volunteer on the planning board that provides input into the agenda to ensure the event more fully meets her needs as a user.
AN INTEGRAL TOOL TO IP BEST PRACTICE
Vanessa believes that Inprotech is a fundamental element of A.A. Thornton’s pursuit of operational excellence. “Inprotech is the foundation for managing our clients’ cases. It manages all our deadlines, ensuring that our clients’ cases are safe – the most critical aspect of excellence in the IP sector.
“Inprotech is also cleverly configured to keep track of client’s preferred standing instructions which helps keep manual input to a minimum. For example, there is a highly effective database of names that works in conjunction with the cases database. When you type a client name in a new case, all the other names associated with that case are automatically filled in, saving the user the need to manually re-enter these details and ensuring accuracy and consistency of data.”
A TRUSTED RELATIONSHIP
While Vanessa values the flexibility and reliability of the software, it is the relationship with the people at CPA Global that she values most.
"My Service Account Manager is a regular point of contact that I have come to know well and who can be relied on. The software development team that I interact with through the IEUG are knowledgeable and very engaged with customers. They are always trying to understand how to improve the software and ensure that it fulfils more and more of our business needs. The people at CPA Global bend over backwards to keep users informed and happy," says Vanessa.