Why law firms need a digital solution for IP management
As a law firm in the area of Intellectual Property you will inevitably be confronted with one question: "How can we effectively and efficiently manage our clients’ IP portfolio?"
While it seems obvious that embracing technology is a key part of boosting your business capability, it is often challenging to modernize structures and processes which have been in place for years or even decades. This is where experienced software providers come into play.
1. High level of customization
Every law firm is different, not just in terms of their culture and staff, but also in terms of how they structure their work and client relationships. This is why the software needs to be highly configurable, user friendly and very compatible with existing IT infrastructures. When implementing a new software your software provider should conduct an implementation study together with the end users to analyze their processes and requirements and come up with a solution which would meet their needs.
2. Getting more work done in less time
As with all software nowadays, user friendliness is key. A well structured and easy to use interface shortens the learning curve and reduces the training time for paralegals and other users of the system saving you time and costs and eventually leading to a better data quality. Tools like wizards, assisted record creation and clearly identified required fields further support this cause.
3. Communicate with clients across the globe
Local law firms are often involved with clients and cases stretching far beyond the borders of their country. Hence, your software should be able to support multiple languages and characters (for example Chinese, Japanese, Cyrillic and Arabic), taking into account your multinational workforce and projects covering different parts of the world.
4. Quick access to all of your data
Another aspect you should focus on when choosing your IP software is a robust and flexible search engine to ensure your team always gets the information they need. Since every database is only as good as the data being typed in, advanced software solutions offer special functionalities to eliminate duplicates and routine work and this would help channel your resources in more productive areas.
5. Real-time document collaboration
With the increasing amount of emails and attachments a law firm receives every day, the usage of a sophisticated document management system becomes more and more important. At best, emails and documents related to your IP rights and matters can be easily archived via drag and drop or are automatically assigned to the corresponding asset via the subject line content of an email. Law firms are encouraged to make use of such systems guaranteeing a secure and instant connection to everyone who needs access, from an in-house docket clerk to your most precious contacts – your clients.
6. Automation of internal workflows
A modern IP management solution can even help to streamline processes within your firm. All too often, the process of instructing your network of IP law firms around the world to perform a foreign filing on behalf of your client is either a half manual exercise or leads to duplicate data entry. Intelligent workflows, together with the opportunity to upload files directly into your document management system, can save both time and resources in this regard.