Confessions Of Reluctant Convert to Electronic Patent Management System – Now I'm a True Believer

For many years trying provider of office automation systems, considerable efforts to convince, to save corporate law firm and patent attorneys to paperless file management systems, by touting the time and money with electronic files over the traditional file system-related patents issued. However, relatively few patent attorneys who have done, but the loyalty to the traditional three-sided patent manila file folder. Until recently I was one of patent attorneys.Now that I have the great efficiency gains and improvements can be discovered with these electronic systems, the question is why I remained faithful to the clearly outdated system of maintaining client records for patent applications. Given the remarkable efficiency and knowledge management improvements are possible with electronic patent file management systems, there can be no viable excuse for not introducing both companies or law firm patent attorneys on such systems. In hindsight, II firmly believe that the weight and history of the partially filled patent file folder represent a sense of ongoing services will be provided, even if I deny a further trivial rejection of a patent examiner. The need for a clear sign of my efforts to prevail over the back pain that I caused in the exercise of several patent applications files that work on outside the office. However, after they confronted head-on, with the bureaucratic inefficiency of the traditional paper-file patentManagement systems, I am now a shift to the undeniable benefits of electronic patent file systems.

Simply put, because the remarkable efficiency and knowledge management can be improved with electronic patent file management systems, it does not introduce any excuse for either viable company or law firm patent attorneys on such systems. When in the best light, patent attorneys who do adopt an electronic system regarded decrease theirCustomers and themselves a disservice. Viewed in the harshest light, these lawyers are unintentionally deceive their customers innovative methods to improve patent quality legal service while reducing costs.

My Awakening

My awakening came to the value of the patent electronic file management systems recently while leading a team of experts in patenting an Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) vendor of enterprise software.For this project, my team, a detailed comparison between a fully electronic patent file management system and performed a traditional paper-based system. Bound by the assignment of times to each of the administrative processes in eleven common tasks of patent applications, we discovered that the use of an electronic patent file management system significantly reduces the amount of administrative time. In particular, (the amount of management time, as opposed to a substantive legalEffort required) for each task was reduced by about 60 percent to up to 85 percent, depending on the prosecution case. These administrative tasks represent features such as dragging and moving files from office to office, copy, retrieving and storing documents in the Department computer databases, and inefficient communication between in-house staff and external consultants. Adoption of an electronic patent file management system can save anywhere from $ 150K to $ 220K perYear.

Our analysis shows that docket for a fully staffed corporate patent department (eg, clerk, paralegal and lawyers) that approximately fifty patent applications files and uses an external consultant for patent preparation and prosecution, the adoption of an electronic patent file management system can save anywhere from $ 150 K to $ 220K per year (see Appendix). For a fully staffed corporate patent department submitting a similar number of patents, but the patent applications HandlesQuestions in the first place in the house are the cost savings of $ 50 to $ 75K per year. Because the tasks eliminated by an electronic file management system patents, and repeat routine, these savings are fully scalable so that companies with higher or lower levels of submission.

Further cost savings will also follow from the adoption of a company's patent department of an electronic patent file management system, because with the relevant documents readily at hand in an electronic formgreatly increased efficiency in communications between patent personnel and internal customers about their business patent matters. While employed as a Senior IP lawyer at a multinational corporation, I held regular meetings with my company, patent and R & D teams. To collect and provide the necessary information for the teams to make informed decisions that a paralegal and administrative staff had made considerable efforts to spend the copying, sorting and binding relevantPatent documentation. In addition, because the information in the thick binder remained static, while the relevant field of patents was not, these binders, once finished the regular meetings of date. The binder, therefore, required to be rebuilt from scratch for each session. Multiply these efforts for several companies, each with frequently changing patent applications, and you can see just how much work needed to my business and R & D team will keep you abreast of their patent portfolios. Hadthe administration of my corporate IP legal department in an electronic file management system patent invested countless hours Paralegal (and would have been tons) of paper by using the same information to business my organization, the team for verifying stored on their laptops. With an electronic system could, our department personnel have avoided copying the repeated drawing of patent files to relevant documents and prepare a binder. The time-consuming nature of patent-CommitteePreparation alone would have justified the adoption of an electronic system for the management of records.

Information to the right people at the right time

Another, perhaps immeasurable benefit from electronic patent file management arises from the greatly improved access to valuable corporate asset patent information.

With traditional paper patent file management systems, patents essential to monitor staff access to patent information. This importantcommercial interests in a company's patent issues, that is, enterprises and R & D teams – first ask staff to access their patent for the permission to this information. For the organizations in which the patents are recognized as valuable corporate assets, is the requirement to have as your bank to ask for your balance. For those responsible for the management of enterprise resources, limited access to information is not acceptable.

No More gatekeeper

If a company views itsPatents as assets, they must be responsible for managing the company's assets could quickly provide relevant information.An electronic file patent management system access is a critical component for the managers to better identify and protect their intellectual property. If a company views its patent portfolio as an asset (such as on legal instruments against) those responsible for the management of these assets must have ready access to relevant information. Under the traditional paper-patent applicationsPatent system serves as a personal guard of the information for the entire group. With an electronic patent file management system which can know with the need to be granted access to information relating to a patent as required. This reduces the workload of staff and improve patent commitment of others in the organization with the patent process.

Managing the cost of the transition

Given the large cost savings, increased efficiency andsignificantly improved the knowledge available in firms that would, with the adoption of an electronic patent file management system, it seems to be little reason for corporate patent departments of the traditional method of management of patent documentation obtained. Of course, the task of the active scanning patent files can be daunting in electronic form. But there are ways to minimize the entry-level costs. First, technology makes it easier than ever to go paperless. MostOrganizations that already file patent applications and other patent documents electronically. This means that the majority of patent documents available in electronic format and must be scanned not separately in an electronic file. In the next few months, the U.S. Patent Office will be introducing an electronic reporting Office actions that are followed at a later stage of the electronic reporting system for the other official documents. The effective elimination of paper from communications to and from the U.S. Patent Office todayit is easily removed for future-oriented companies to patent paper-based file management systems combined. In combination with modern document management systems is generally only once in the company and law firm settings, most organizations capable of providing electronic file patent management systems implemented today at a reasonable price and with minimal effort. To further reduce the entry-level costs, legal manager, you can choose only pending applications for entryinto a new electronic patent file management system. Of course, should be re-docketed matters shall also be made fully electronic from the start. Issued cases may later be added to the system when time and resources permit. As an approach to the introduction of an electronic patent file management system can minimize the cost of conversion from a paper-based file management system to a purely electronic patent management system.

The role ofOutside Counsel

Outside Council saves money through electronic communication with customers and it is inexcusable for them to those savings on their clients.Corporate patent managers should expect their outside consultants to be willing to provide them with the electronic passport-related patents communication at a low – or no-cost basis. Corporate patent managers should also be prepared to discuss with their outside counsel, in which inefficiency of firm operations can be removed and Communications to the total cost of patent acquisition costs. If an external consultant, a customer wants additional fees for electronic communications fee should the customer seriously consider screening new patent counsel consider who is ready to adopt innovative solutions. Outside Council saves money through electronic communication with customers, and there is no excuse for them to pass on those savings to their customers.

It's Time for All-IP Departments to adopt an IP-Electronic> Management System

Although we represent technology savvy companies, patent attorneys are often somewhat resistant to change. This conservative nature may explain why, until today, the transition to electronic patent application file management systems are only slowly. With the notable efficiency improvements over conventional paper-file patent management systems more and more clear, but there is no reason for patent attorneys failed to electronic patent applicationsFile management systems today.

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