IP Outsourcing Trends: Get To Know Your Partner

Todd Rapier, MultiLing, and Tim Troy, Dow Corning, participate on a panel about outsourcing IP services.

Todd Rapier, MultiLing EVP of worldwide sales, participated on a panel to discuss EmergingTrends and Considerations in IP Outsourcing at the Global IP Outsourcing Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco, Feb. 17-18. Tim Troy, senior counsel at Dow Corning and MultiLing client, also participated on the panel.

The session was designed to give conference attendees practical insights into how the world’s leading companies are tackling current legal and commercial IP outsourcing trends and challenges. The $3 billion IP outsourcing industry is growing exponentially as a result of European and U.S. patent reform, coupled with an increase in patent applications globally.

Large law firms and legal departments outsource much of their patent prosecution processes already, including prior art searches, patent illustrations, patent proofreading, patent drafting, patent docketing support and MultiLing’s expertise: patent translation.

“Not one service fits all,” said Rapier. “Legal teams and law firms need to find who the best vendor is for the service that is needed, rather than looking at how many services a vendor has to offer.”

According to Troy, outsourcing cannot only be cost effective, but also can help streamline processes and provide consistent prosecution. He believes quality from outsourcing partners should be a given and must be there, but also shared that adding transparency to the process allows outsourcing partners to assist their clients in areas such as budget compliance and forecasting. Troy remarked that organizations should be open to ideas from vendors and should take the time to ask for and consider their ideas for improving the process – a comment that reflects the great partnering relationship he feels they have with MultiLing.

Other best practices for working with vendors, according to Rapier: Engage in two-way communication and face time is an absolute must.

The conference gathered legal process outsourcing (LPO) experts, IP lawyers from in-house and private practice, and government representatives to discuss issues and opportunities related to how LPOs can help navigate the patent reform storm. LPOs have an opportunity to chart a course for growth and establish a niche in the IP outsourcing market.