Managed Services for IP Operations

In their pursuit of greater efficiency and cost savings, corporate IP groups are increasingly open to new ways of meeting their operational requirements. These include evaluating internal capabilities such as process reengineering, new organization structures and advanced IPM software systems. Many companies have also begun working more closely with their outside counsel to shift certain ops and admin tasks, such as docketing, thereby eliminating “shadow” tasks that are considered redundant.

IP departments have also taken a close look at outsourcing.. Outsourcing offers the promise of lower costs, greater capacity, scalability and process quality. However, many IP departments have struggled with instituting programmatic outsourcing in a way that meets their expectations, particularly in unrealized cost savings and work quality challenges. While outsource providers have augmented their offshore based models, most IP departments are taking a cautious approach by using outsourcing for certain limited functions or special projects.

Building on the positive features of outsourcing, while avoiding its negatives, the discipline of managed services is a newly emerging approach for IP departments.. A Managed Services Model is similar to outsourcing in that certain work activities and processes are performed by the external provider, typically to achieve a lower cost or improved service level. However, managed services is fundamentally different in that its focus is on improving the IP department’s work efficiency and productivity, not primarily a reduction in staff. Managed services enables existing staff to shift their low value admin tasks, thereby freeing up capacity for high value activities. The managed service meets agreed SLAs that are consistent with internal requirements, and are viewed as integral to the overall IP ops and admin functions.. Finally, a managed services approach provides IP specific expertise and business acumen, allowing the provider to implement improvements to lower operating costs, while working in close alignment with business needs. .

Based on our 15+ years in IP operations, we developed our Helios Complete managed services model. This provides a “bundled” solution approach that includes people, process and technology in a single “all inclusive” package. Every client has an assigned experienced IP operations manager, plus all other specialists required for the SLAs. We provide and institute industry best practice SOPs; supported by metrics and KPIs. We also have established relationships with IP service providers, such as patent annuities, trademark renewals, and filing services, to improve efficiency and save administrative costs. And finally clients access an industry leading IPM software system that includes docketing and all other required modules. All provided in a rigorous SLA, at a fixed monthly cost.

We are excited about our Helios Complete managed services approach. I’d welcome a chance to further discuss. Please contact me for more information at ralph.schroeder@heliosipm.com

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