ABOUT YOUNG & THOMPSON
Young & Thompson (Y&T) is a premier full-service intellectual property law firm in the United States. For more than 100 years, Y&T has provided cost effective, high quality, and efficient first tier licensing and litigation capability to their clients. It represents international corporations and law firms in US IP matters including transactions, filings, and disputes.
- First To File®
- Reduce reliance on paper based systems and automate manual processes
- Increase profitability and quality of service while guaranteeing client confidentiality
- Improve visibility and control over the law firm’s multiple workflows
- Improved staff productivity has resulted in faster production of work and shorter client response times
- ROI in excess of 200%
- Automating manual processes for a global, unified strategy
Throughout their 100-year history, Y&T has strived to provide clients with the most relevant, up-to-date services for intellectual property. However, in recent years, a number of factors have made this difficult to achieve: a geographically dispersed client base with increasing demands for greater levels of digital communication; accelerating growth and market share gains; and the USPTO’s enhancement of digital interaction with corporations and law firms.
This led to an audit of the firm’s labour-intensive internal processes and a review of the firm’s internal patent workflow and file management systems, with the goal of increasing profitability while maintaining Y&T’s commitment to quality. The company needed greater visibility and control of its workflow. Its current inefficiencies would inevitably hinder the firm’s ability to grow and scale.
Investigating the market for the complete, world-leading IP management solution
Y&T produced a list of essential requirements for their IP management solution, including the ability to fully preserve attorney/client confidentiality, eliminate lost files, reduce total file management costs, and be easy to implement and manage. Two solutions were trialed: enterprise document management solutions (DMS) and business process management solutions (BPM). After reviewing eleven products, none were considered ideal as they would either add cost, complexity or risk.
Nothing seemed fit for the purpose until they discovered First to File from CPA Global. First to File offered both DMS and BPM functionality, decreased filing risk, and could handle the firm’s current mission critical internal workflows, where uptime and reliability are paramount. It also integrated and synchronised with Y&T’s legacy docketing system, eliminating costly custom programming.
Automating filing processes to improve patent quality and increase productivity
Traditionally, the patent industry’s document management processes have been manual and error-prone, leading to higher costs, lower productivity, and decreased patent quality. Y&T, a perennially ranked top patent law firm, first recognised the need to move to a paperless environment in 2007. Y&T successfully deployed First To File’s Electronic File Room (EFR) from CPA Global, migrating from a paper-based patent workflow system to 100% digital management of its patent prosecution.
CPA Global’s product had both DMS and BPM functionality, decreased filing risk and handling the firm’s current mission- critical internal workflows, where uptime and reliability are paramount. Equally, FTF’s EFR system had a UI and functionality that was attorney-friendly and patent-specific. It also integrated and synchronised with Y&T’s legacy docketing system, eliminating costly custom programming. Y&T is now a leading proponent of embracing “paperless” document management for the prosecution of its entire patent practice.
Y&T had prospered for 105 years with physical files but it knew the right electronic environment could transform the way the attorneys and staff worked. Ultimately, this change would play a key role in enhancing the firm’s competitive advantage and accommodating its future growth. The paperless system had less risk than the paper system it had been using for 100+ years.
Automating filing enables reduced risk and reduced cost
Fast and efficient integration
First To File met all key requirements established at the outset of the project and also specifically addressed many of the risks Y&T had anticipated it would need to manage independently. Implementation was completed in just a matter of weeks.
As a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, First To File allowed the business to focus on its core objectives as opposed to IT implementation. Y&T defined policies and procedures through FTF to retain its unique and successful processes.
Improved workflow management and staff collaboration
First To File’s Electronic File Room became an integral part of the day-today operations at Y&T. It is now the core application for managing all the work flowing through the firm. Workflows can be managed and synchronised regardless of the country or time zone a user is based in. This ensures all of Y&T’s stakeholders in the patent lifecycle are coordinated and timely.
The workflow module is completely customisable to mimic how paper traveled through Y&T. This ensured staff welcomed the move to digital processes and reduced the need for time-intensive training. The technology could be integrated into the staff’s daily workflows with little to no disruption.
First To File has also significantly improved transparency and control across the entire firm. This has reduced the risks associated with missing deadlines and damaging quality of service. The ability to collaborate across multiple workflows has elevated staff productivity, resulting in faster work production and shorter client response times.
Reducing administrative costs enables investment in other areas
Y&T has experienced considerable cost savings from deploying First To File’s EFR service. These savings include a reduction in the need for new support staff, paper and office supplies, non-reimbursable time and fees, lost and misplaced case files, physical space, and onsite storage fees. The cost to implement First To File’s software provided a ROI in excess of 200% in less than six months.
Since going digital in 2009, Young & Thompson has experienced phenomenal cost savings including a reduction in office expenses from $110K annually to just $19K – saving $91K per year. Postage costs were reduced from $187K to $12K annually – saving $126K per year. In 2015, the firm was able to reduce its office size because it no longer needed storage, file room, or mailroom space. This saved the firm an additional $68K. In total, Y&T saves an average of $285K per year thanks to CPA Global’s First To File service. With automated processes, improved transparency and faster work production, Y&T is in a strong position to grow in line with increasing client demands.
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