In a perfect world, IP counsel focused on building their company’s intellectual property assets would have unbounded space for storing paper files, an unlimited budget and resources and an infinite amount of time for filing patents and trademarks. If they were really lucky, there would be no threat of competitors beating them to the punch…because there would be no urgency or need to change.
However, as we all know, this mythical world does not exist. Instead, our world is rapidly changing, becoming more competitive and demanding and requiring ever higher levels of productivity. Intellectual property is among the most important assets at any company, and using outdated approaches to manage patent and trademark activity is a big gamble that carries a steep price. Companies must meet rapidly changing IP ecosystems with equally dynamic and nimble systems and procedures; in this context, technology is one of inside counsels’ strongest allies.
As the USPTO updates its filing and correspondence methods and moves them online, corporations must respond by moving in an electronic direction themselves with data management and automation. Imagine the cost of missing out on a patent because of paper-based inefficiency, a tragic waste considering all the R&D that went into developing the new invention. With Leahy-Smith, there is no silver medal for second place—if you’re not first, you’re last.
The risk and cost of the human touch