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Why IP Outsourcing Should be Part of Your Business Strategy?

Intellectual Property (IP) strategies have evolved drastically over the past few years. In the past, it was commonplace for a law firm to handle all IP-related activities, from patent searching to application drafting to licensing. However, corporate budgets have put downward pressure on IP budgets. The increased ability to communicate remotely has enabled the outsourcing of various IP services to outside partners – both on and off-shore. These days IP outsourcing is a must for a cost-effective and efficient IP management practice.

IP professionals have many outsourcing options including patentability and freedom to operate searches; Additionally, there are docketing, administration, and paralegal services, as well as IDS preparation, management, and filing. There are also document management and digitization services, as well as technical drafting services. The number and quality of these outsource services have been growing and will continue to grow. Outsourcing is not new. In fact, we can think of the law firm as a large and expensive outsourcing firm. It is likely your organization is currently outsourcing bookkeeping, accounting, tax preparation, expense tracking, janitorial services, and others.

How do you choose what to outsource and to whom?

What Tasks Should You Outsource?

The type of IP outsourcing that you need depends upon internal resources and challenges. Do you need to replace an employee? What about company growth? You may be growing too fast for your team to keep up and need to expand the amount of work being performed. Another point to consider is this: When the company makes an acquisition, the IP budget immediately may need to focus on legal fees rather than administrative fees, etc.? On the whole, these tasks are often more efficiently performed by subject matter experts outside the company.

Some questions to consider when making this decision include “What are my organization’s capabilities?” “What are my pain points?” “What is the budget, and how do I get the most out of it?”.

For this reason, it would be best to outsource activities that you are not well equipped to handle; for instance, pain points for your organization and activities to optimize your budget. Identifying these activities is a significant first step to optimizing your IP operations.

How to Choose a Partner

Like any partnership, choosing your IP outsourcing partner should be based on trust. As you know, details and deadlines matter. To be sure, experience matters, as do relationships. Here are three simple steps for choosing an intellectual property outsourcing partner.

1. Due diligence. Partners led by subject matter experts can be trusted. Find out the potential partner’s experience and capabilities.

2. Start small. Start with simple projects. First, provide your partner with a simple and easy project to pass to them without fully integrating them into your operation. For example, you may start a potential partner with IDS work, some patent searches, or an ad hoc document due-diligence project. If the project results are good, you can continue your partnership. Consequently, if the project was done poorly, business is concluded.

3. Expand what you are doing. Once you have seen good results from a pilot project, expand the partnership’s depth and breadth. Then, repeat this cycle until you have achieved the integration level that relieves your pain points and meets the budget goals you desire.

Choosing an IP outsourcing partner can seem daunting, but it does not have to be. At Teak Services, we can evaluate your pain points, identifying an efficient and cost-effective solution. Contact us today; we can talk through how we can help. When you partner with Teak Services, we manage the outsourcing so that you don’t have to.

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