Patent Docketing Software: Finding Your Right Fit

Patent Docketing Software can be a powerful asset to better manage your patent assets. Often known as intellectual property docketing software, patent docketing software can perform a host of functions.

Still, finding the right patent docketing software can be a challenge. That’s because effective patent docketing is actually a process rather than a piece of software.

Ideally, your desire for process optimization drives the selection of software, and the software is chosen and implemented to fit the process. This approach will help you in ensuring your patent assets remain in a good shape. Here are some tips for finding the right fit when buying Patent Docketing Software:

Productivity Gains

How the patent docketing software will fulfill the needs of all stakeholders requires a team effort, involving experts from the field, including patent attorneys, docketing paralegals; outside counsels; prolific inventors; patent committee members; and information technology (IT) managers.

The team’s goal should be to provide the patent department with a consistent, effective tool to track invention disclosures and patents, identify areas for process improvement, and target better ways to spend patent annuity maintenance dollars. Pulling together as a team and developing, understanding and committing to a process can provide a good foundation upon which to deploy the software. Focus on areas that require the largest and most pressing improvements.

Cost Analysis

Patent departments will need to keep a few things to keep in mind when considering purchasing or upgrading patent docketing software. Perhaps most importantly, the cost of implementation can be greater than the initial cost. Once the software is in place, the vendor and department need to set it up and populate it with the patents and invention disclosure related data. This process generally is expensive and time-consuming.

Focusing too much on sticker price can be misleading. Ask the references provided by vendors the time spent on implementation. If the implementation was tedious, if the vendor provided consistent support during and post implementation. Did the project go late and over budget and if it did, why?

Assess Strengths and Weaknesses

The size of the docketing vendor organization can be misleading too. Most patent docketing software vendors make most of their revenues from annuity payment services. Product Innovation is certainly not the priority. Ask them about their product roadmaps. Are they making use of new technologies? Have they spent any time on innovation, new features in the last 1-3 years.

Configurability

Lack of configurability is probably most overlooked area during selection process, but comes back to haunt you. On an average, the department requirements change by over 20% in first year and about 10% in second year of deployment. Check with vendors and their references if you need vendor’s support for performing basic operations such as changing workflows or integration. Engineers are expensive, paying vendors for these types of changes can cost a lot of money, time and resources. Checking these questions upfront will go a long way in determining how much time and money will be spent to improve these systems.

Staffing

Check if your department is staffed properly to handle the project workload. Does it have the time and money to allocate to this project? The successful implementation of a patent docket software requires a top-down commitment from management and the support of the entire team.

Lecorpio has an excellent track record of successful patent docketing software implementations. Lecorpio’s professional services use a powerful combination of strategic insight and superior execution to optimize the cost and efficiency of our client’s patent operations. Feel free to contact us if you need more information on best practices for patent docketing software project implementation.