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CLOC's Patent Prosecution Framework – All on the Same Page

It was an honor to have been a part of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium’s (CLOC’s) Patent Prosecution Deliverable Framework Initiative. For those not familiar with CLOC, it is a “non-profit organization consisting of legal operations professionals providing education, sharing best practices, networking, establishing a professional organization and community, and driving positive change across the corporate legal services ecosystem.”

CLOC’s mission is to “to help legal operations professionals and other core corporate legal industry players (e.g. tech providers, law firms, LPO’s, law schools, etc.) optimize the legal service delivery models needed by small, medium and large legal departments to support their clients.”

In line with their mission, CLOC’s Patent Prosecution Deliverable Framework Initiative was undertaken to establish a high-level, common language and framework for in-house legal departments and outside counsel to use when communicating about patent portfolio development work. By starting with input from over 60 companies across multiple industries and having a strong collaborative group that spanned numerous corporate legal operations teams, in-house counsel, law firms, alternative service providers and technology vendors, the group was able to distill the approach down to this single framework. 

The framework is available for download here: https://cloc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Patent-Prosecution-Deliverable-Framework-Initiative.pdf.

The exciting aspect of this framework is that it introduces a standardized concept of core and optional deliverables for commonly encountered patent portfolio development activities, which are matched with standard UTBMS billing codes. Such a framework now can be adapted to current e-billing systems to allow in-house and outside counsel to consistently track their patent portfolio development work across all of their legal service providers and clients, respectively.

This approach will provide us all with a way to more effectively manage our budgets. We also will be able to more successfully track how efficient projects are. Further, we will be able to more easily develop new benchmarks (so that we are comparing apples to apples) and gain a better understanding into how we are all performing.

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