How to save time and money managing intellectual property renewals
If your intellectual property renewals are fast approaching, you may be looking for ways to manage which will save both time and money for your business. Tips ranging from simply filing renewals as soon as possible to outsourcing the management of your intellectual property renewals altogether can have an impact on the time and money you spend.
As with all aspects of managing intellectual property, online advice is no alternative for seeking the advice of an independent intellectual property expert, as such advice will be tailored exclusively to your business needs.
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File trademark renewals as soon as possible
Although it may appear a simple tip, filing your renewals on time is a key way to ensure you save yourself both time and money. Managing intellectual property renewals on time will mean that you avoid the imposition of late fees – additional financial sanctions for businesses who file their renewals past the renewal deadline. As an example, the EUIPO provides a grace period of 6 months after the renewal date within which a trademark can still be renewed, however using this grace period means that businesses incur an additional 25% charge.
In addition to saving you money, filing your renewals as soon as possible also makes the process quicker by the simple fact that it is not drawn out over a long period of time. Renewing your intellectual property as soon as you are notified by the relevant office means that the matter is closed for a substantial amount of time – for a trademark, ten years.
However, it may be worthwhile to consider your circumstances before deciding to renew your intellectual property as soon as possible, as it could prove beneficial to actually delay the renewal of certain intangible assets. If you have multiple intellectual property renewals approaching within a few months of each other it could prove beneficial to delay some renewals so that they coincide with these latter renewals, leaving you able to file all necessary renewals at the same time. Although this will not amount to a financial saving (in fact, it could become more expensive if you encounter late fees), the work involved in the process will be lessened by filing your renewals simultaneously.
You should therefore consider your individual circumstances carefully before deciding when to file your renewals, as some decisions may save you work but cost you more money.
Another potential option for businesses looking to make savings is to simply renew less. Upon careful consideration, if you have any assets which have not been profitable during the previous term then it may prove more beneficial to your business to simply abandon these assets and save the time and money that renewal would cost.
In similar vein, if your trademark is registered in multiple classes though only proves profitable in a handful of these it may be good for your business to only renew the mark in those classes which have been profitable, since in many trademark renewals you will have to pay for each class the mark is to be renewed in.
However, given the relatively inexpensive nature of renewals, the abandonment of assets altogether or in part may not be a viable option for your particular business, as it is unlikely that such intellectual property would be so unprofitable so as to warrant not renewing them. Instead, greater savings can be found in delegating the management of your intellectual property renewals.
Outsource the trademark renewals process
If your business has an in-house legal department who handle the management of renewals, amongst other legal matters, it may prove beneficial to extradite the task of managing intellectual property renewals to external experts.
Outsourcing this task will save time on two fronts: firstly, the renewals can be completed faster as a group of agents who focus solely on renewals will ensure that yours are done as soon as necessary; secondly, delegating this task also frees your in-house team to focus on other pressing legal matters.
Outsourcing will not only save time in renewals, but also in the pursuance of other legal matters. Hiring external staff to manage these renewals can also prove cheaper, as external agents will look to agree a fee at the outset for the work completed, thereby creating the opportunity to strike a deal which is often cheaper than equivalent work done by in-house departments.
As well as the benefits of saving time and money, outsourcing the management of your renewals also saves you from the potentially stressful process of having to navigate renewals yourself.