The advantages of having a full-service partner who takes care of your IP portfolio
When corporate IP counsel look to external partners to assist with their IP portfolios, it can be difficult to identify who to work with. There are countless providers in the market, some doing the same things, some doing slightly different things, and many focussed on a small area of portfolio management.
It’s tempting to assume that a piecemeal approach, where one company helps you with renewals, and another with searches and so on, would work effectively due to the fact that the companies you choose are probably specialists in their particular areas of expertise.
But in most companies, intellectual property is not treated as if it were a series of small issues, but rather as a whole area for a team to manage. That’s why companies have IP departments, and not different departments dealing with every stage of the process. That’s why, when it comes to engaging external partners to take care of your IP portfolio, it makes sense to look for a provider that can provide a similar, holistic service.
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Full-service partners for IP portfolio management are rare, but they do exist. As long as you are confident such a provider really can do all the things you need it to, it’s likely to be a far more effective option than using multiple providers, or indeed between outsourcing some of the work and keeping the rest in-house.
A full-service solution has many benefits, but perhaps the two most important are to do with cost and management. One reason a company might outsource IP portfolio management is to save time and resources, but that is unlikely to occur if all that happens is you replace an internal issue with multiple different external relationships, all requiring management from the corporate client. With a provider such as Brandstock, you have a single point of contact who can manage the relationship across all areas of the work, meaning that you don’t need to waste previous resources. You also have total cost transparency; Brandstock clients negotiate a flat fee agreement which forms part of the service level agreement between your company and it. This allows you to budget effectively, and provides reassurance that there will be no nasty surprises in your invoice.
But if those are the most obvious benefits, they don’t truly do justice to the level of service you can achieve with Brandstock’s new ‘Brandstock Complete’ offering. Each client now has the ability to define, in its initial service agreement with Brandstock, exactly what level of service is required, ranging from relatively small, even one-off projects right through to a level where Brandstock takes on the whole IP portfolio, working with external counsel on your behalf, managing filings, recordals and renewals across your portfolio, external counsels’ costs benchmarking, names creation, searches and much more.
Because an external provider such as Brandstock works with a large network of clients, a full service option is likely to be less expensive than doing things in-house, not least because you will benefit from certain economies of scale and be able to take advantage of the existing institutional knowledge of your provider (though of course client data is kept confidential). And in the case of Brandstock, you will also benefit from technologies specifically developed to make the various process involved less error-prone and more efficient, including artificial intelligence and machine learning programmes that will ultimately streamline the whole process of IP portfolio management.
As the complexity of international business increases, and with it globalization of commerce, it is likely that IP portfolio management will become more difficult over time. A solution which allows corporate IP counsel to focus on the core of what they do – developing strategy, leading decision-making on enforcement and helping the business to develop – while secure in the knowledge that the challenging tasks of maintenance, filing, and so on are taken care of, is one that will bring a multitude of benefits, both tangible and intangible, to your operation. A full-service provider is the key weapon in your armoury to help increase effectiveness and reduce stress.