Lincoln Electric is the world leader in manufacturing high-quality welding, cutting, and joining products. To protect key assets, the organisation needed an IP management system that could provide deeper visibility into the value of its IP assets and clearly define how each IP asset fits into its detailed product hierarchy. Lincoln Electric chose to launch CPA Global's IPMS Memotech to gain better insight into the company's IP portfolio, monitor costs for outside counsel, and alleviate administration burdens.
ABOUT LINCOLN ELECTRIC
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Lincoln Electric is the world leader in the manufacture of high- quality welding, cutting and joining products. The company has 42 manufacturing locations, including operations and joint ventures, in 19 countries and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering more than 160 countries.
- Integrate Memotech into Lincoln Electric’s existing SAP system
- Develop a deeper understanding of the company’s IP portfolio
- Track outside counsel costs for managing the company’s IP
- Implement product hierarchy into new IP management system
- Trademark Renewals
- Understanding which products generated the most revenue enabled executives to determine an appropriate level of protection
- Automated billing system relieved administrative burden from the accounting process
- Enhanced reporting capabilities led to improved communication and collaboration within the company
In addition to launching several hundred products into the marketplace each year, Lincoln Electric files approximately 100 patent applications annually. With a broad and diverse IP portfolio, the company needed an IP management system that could provide deeper visibility into the value of its IP assets and clearly define how each IP asset fits into its detailed product (or sales) hierarchy. This would enable the company to determine the level of investment required to protect key products.
The new system also had to be scalable enough to facilitate collaboration in the IP development process – from R&D to sales and marketing to accounting. From an administrative perspective, Lincoln Electric was also looking to replace its system of manually processing invoices received from outside counsel with an automated process that would relieve the administrative burden on both the IP and accounting departments.
Implement customizable IP management system that integrates with existing business software
Although Lincoln Electric’s key objective was to implement an IP management system that provided actionable intelligence into its IP portfolio together with improved administrative efficiencies, the solution had to seamlessly integrate with the company’s existing SAP system.
After conducting a thorough analysis of Lincoln Electric’s workflows, CPA Global was able to customize the functionality of Memotech to further complement the company’s business and IP processes.
In addition to automating the trademark and future patent renewal activity/process in Memotech, Lincoln Electric executives now have a more detailed understanding of the company’s IP hierarchy and how its various IP assets are associated with each other. This insight enables the company to accurately determine the value of its key designs, technologies and processes and make more informed decisions on which assets need the most protection.
Memotech has also helped simplify and streamline the IP department’s accounting systems. Prior to its implementation, invoice processing was a laborious process. Each invoice first had to be approved by the IP Manager and then manually reviewed and entered into the company’s accounting system. Using Memotech, law firms and vendors can submit electronic invoices directly into the SAP software. Since there is no need for data entry, invoices can be processed and paid quickly, and costs can be tracked more efficiently.
Enhanced administrative efficiencies and actionable intelligence
Significantly improved administrative efficiency
Implementing an electronic invoicing system through Memotech relieved the administrative burden on Lincoln Electric’s IP team, enabling staff to focus on more strategic work, while also eliminating many hours of repetitive data entry tasks. The new system also provides more detailed and sophisticated cost tracking.
Deeper understanding of IP portfolio hierarchy
Developing a clearer understanding of its IP hierarchy enabled Lincoln Electric to see how its various IP assets contribute to the bottom line. In the long-term, this detailed analysis will improve efficiencies throughout the innovation process.
Enhanced reporting capabilities: instant accessibility to data
Providing Memotech access to all outside counsel involved in managing the company’s IP enables Lincoln Electric to update filing and prosecution activity directly into the system for immediate review. The IP team can now quickly deliver status updates on the company’s IP assets to key decision makers.
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