3 key elements of a properly managed IP recordals project
Good IP recordals projects always have certain things in common. While each business will have different expectations of a recordals project, they are unlikely to be successful unless they adhere to three key elements.
Defining priorities in an Intellectual Properties recordals project
The importance of defining your goals in an IP recordals projects cannot be overstated. And within those goals, you should assess what has to happen more quickly and what can wait. If you have recently acquired another company, for example, you will likely need to prioritize ownership information related to the newly acquired assets before you look at your existing portfolio.Similarly, there are probably jurisdictions in which your business is more active, or where it faces more threats from competitors or counterfeiters, for example. It makes sense to establish where the risk of failure is highest, and prioritize your recordals work accordingly.
Intellectual Properties recordals project: Managing costs
All recordals projects have costs attached to them, and with large portfolios across multiple jurisdictions, those costs can mount up very quickly indeed. These costs include any official fees associated with changes to the record, the cost of engaging agents where necessary to file official documents, and the various internal costs associated with the sheer time and resources required to manage and see a project through.
There are also various hidden costs, such as translating documents into local languages where required, aligning customs recordals to ensure those are up to date, and the costs of legalizing documents. And of course, there will be costs associated with any failures in the project, such as late filings; some jurisdictions put strict deadlines on recording changes of ownership information, and failure to meet these can cost money while also putting the asset at risk.
Understanding the nature and size of these costs will help you manage your IP recordals project more effectively. It may be that, once you have analyzed the size of the task in front of you, you decide only to undertake a partial recordals project, in which you deal with the critical assets and leave the rest until you can justify more investment.
This approach will be faster, but is likely to cost more in the long term while leaving you open to greater risk.
At Brandstock we would always suggest ensuring all your recordals and assignments are up to date in one go, because while the initial investment may be higher than doing things piecemeal, there are substantial savings available in the aggregate if you have a well-planned project. It also has the advantage that once the project is complete, you can be sure that all of your assets are up to date, which gives you a platform from which to manage recordals into the future.
Engaging the right partner
While it is certainly possible to manage an IP recordals project in-house, it is likely to be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Not only that, but assigning staff resources to manage a recordals project takes them away from their other tasks. Once your recordals project gets to a certain size, it will likely make sense to engage an external partner. This has the advantage of taking the day-to-day work off your desk, while also giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have a partner with substantial experience of managing recordals projects.
Experience with companies like yours and in your industry is one of the things you should look for in an external provider, but there are other key elements of the relationship. One of the most difficult parts of a recordals project is ensuring that your own record-keeping and docketing is up to date and clean. When you choose an external partner, you need to be certain that they can provide you with the data you need in the format you require. In some cases that can be achieved by giving the partner access to your systems, but if not you need to know that a bulk data or document upload is possible.
Finally, if you are going to work with an external provider, you need to trust them to do the job you want them to do for a cost that you are comfortable with. That means knowing who you are working with, and probably liking them too! At Brandstock, we will consult with you every step of the way to ensure you are comfortable with the relationship and workflow, and to make certain that your recordals project is achieving what you need it to.Undertaking an IP recordals project can seem daunting; but with the right approach, it can be a smooth and effective process which will make your business stronger.