Zacco logotype IP Services
Zacco logotype IP Services

Why automation, software and Systems are increasingly supporting the future of IP portfolio management

2 February 2024

This article was originally by Karin Kärvling Søholt on LinkedIn on 02/02/24

The future belongs to IP Service providers who are open to change, and embracing new technology and new ways of working. It is all about staying ahead of the game and finding innovative ways to navigate the evolving landscape. This is crucial in order to deliver excellent and competitive services to their clients. It is really all about adapting and harnessing new technology!

Advances in computing power in recent years, specifically when it comes to the processing and analysis of big data, has led to a revolution in software and IT systems. This has allowed for scaling of IP services, encouraging increased efficiency and cost effective management of international IP rights, particularly when their number grows into hundreds and thousands. The automation of many repetitive manual processes means tasks such as data entry or assessment, are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

For many companies, intellectual property rights may be the most valuable assets they have. Whether it is a software patent for a revolutionary system, a globally recognised brand name, or the development process for fossil free construction materials,, Intellectual property is integral to success. Maintaining IP rights has traditionally been a time intensive process, particularly when those rights cross international borders, but such maintenance is crucial, and the loss of patent or trademark protection, or ownership of a domain name for example, can be ruinous. Successful portfolio management requires a detailed knowledge of changing international legislation, tracking of renewal deadlines and processes, and validation in multiple territories. Some of these require the advice of a qualified IP experts, but many of the supporting tasks can now be automated.

There are many benefits to embracing such automation, including providing your team with more time to focus on development of IP rights rather than their maintenance. This innovation, competitiveness and building brand recognition in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Security is another area that can be improved. With automation, data passes through fewer people meaning a reduced risk of exposure or interception, although this is also dependent on the organisation remaining committed to data security and information privacy. Allowing an external company to help you to track, manage and care for what may be some of your most valuable assets can be a big step for an organisation, so keeping those assets safe should be a demonstrable top priority for any provider. Security, transparency and quality should be a top priority.

With this in mind, it should be noted that not all processes can be, or indeed should be, automated but ‘cleaning’ information and checking facts, or importing data against from official databases, represents a perfect candidate as this would traditionally have been completed by an individual over many hours. Automation can also result in improvements to quality levels because automated checking, and importing of registered, is both more efficient and less likely to result in errors.

Automation is not only limited to administration. Within intellectual property, ‘robots’ and increasingly AI or Machine Learning assisted functionality are making an impact across multiple areas of protection and development. In some, it is even becoming standard practice, such as in the removal of misleading or fake content online, or the monitoring of the sale of counterfeit goods or digital piracy. Automating such processes can significantly speed up their removal, reducing the opportunity for consumers to discover them, and mitigating the risk of the reputational damage that often occurs when substandard goods are purchased or fake websites are visited. Incorporating cutting edge tools and automation can be as much about reducing risk as it is about improving efficiency.

Automation, AI and Machine Learning are here and, harnessed correctly, can be an incredible part of an IP team’s toolbox.  We at Zacco has been quick to adopt advancing technology in recent years, believing that both our colleagues and clients should benefit from the latest thinking, and that such adoption ensures that we can better serve our clients by incorporating the most practical, insightful and efficient systems and procedures. This means that we can often help you to manage your international IP portfolio more efficiently and more cost effectively than maintaining the same level of skills and expertise in-house.

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