There is no doubt, we are headed into a new normal where change is happening at an increasingly faster pace than ever before. New brands are being launched, new technologies are being created, and new scientific discoveries are being made. All of this is happening at the same time we are experiencing a period of economic uncertainty where even the biggest and best companies are downsizing legal departments, and IP budgets are being cut. And so more than ever, IP professionals are faced with externalities beyond their control.
So how should IP professionals be preparing for this rapid rate of change?
IP professionals should ensure that their IP management software is future-proof – meaning that today’s solutions are built for tomorrow. Specifically, they should be looking for:
Look for a provider that is committed to enhancing their offering based on customer feedback, market dynamics, and the availability of new technologies such as AI. Ask to see their roadmap and how enhancement priorities are created.
Focus on Security
Any provider of IP management software should be committed to providing the highest levels of digital and physical security with ongoing monitoring to identify, mitigate and address potential threats with a dedicated team focused on customer’s security. The threat landscape is constantly evolving, and without a laser focus and ongoing investment in security, your valuable IP data could be at risk.
IP management software providers should be continually looking for ways to improve the accuracy of IP data to provide a source of “real” truth. In particular, they should be looking to add additional sources of data, as they become available from PTOs around the world.
With many new best-of-breed applications now available, a future-proof IP management system should also be architected to take advantage of third-party applications providing translation, search, patent drafting, and other up-and-coming capabilities. Moreover, as AI and other technologies become more prevalent, new applications are likely to emerge.
Future-proof IP management software enables users to update fields, users, and workflow effortlessly. It should provide robust searching, sorting and exporting, allowing users to quickly create new reports, based upon any data field captured within the system. In other words, future-proof means that you can continually change your software as the market and your business needs evolve, so that it works the way that you do – not the way that it did when it was purchased however many years ago. Bottom line – if an IP management system requires significant custom development to make what should otherwise be simple changes – then it’s unlikely that the solution will be able to grow over time.
If you have ever worked with an IP management software provider that has customized your specific instance, you are likely well aware that upgrades to an existing implementation have the ability to be time-consuming and extremely painful. Ensure that any upgrades can be deployed quickly and without issues.
Some may feel that their current IP management solution is working well enough for now and that changing their IP management software introduces additional risk. That said, if your current provider is unable to continually innovate to take advantage of new technologies, address security threats, integrate data and applications, or adapt to change, then the real risk lies with staying with the status quo, which results in inefficiencies and the inability to maximize the value of your IP.