First of all, let’s establish a few assumptions. Number one, I assume you actually want to manage the entirety of your practice within the business, not just some portion of it. There are lots of point solutions out there that will help you with this or that, but not the whole package. Worse, some people actually try to force a point solution to manage assets or processes for which it was not designed. Ironically, they often spend very expensive human resources to make up for the inefficiencies of their so called savings.
Number two, I assume you are working in a corporate legal department because you like the law of business more than the business of law. In other words, you are business lawyer and think about law from a business perspective and through a business lens. If that’s true, then you care about securely and efficiently managing your company’s IP assets.
With those assumptions in place, what are the top 3 things you should be looking for in an Intellectual Property Management (IPM) solution?
#3 End-to-End Management
Since we know you want to manage everything, not just patents or just inventions or just [anything], you want to be sure the solution you pick covers all of your business processes. Before you look to see what’s out there, take a moment to identify all the business processes in your organization. There are the obvious ones, but look at your calendar and those of your colleagues. What are ALL the business processes you and your team manage. Now look for a solution that will help you manage all of them in one place.
Are you doing the exact same thing in the exact same way as you did 5 years ago? Most likely you’re not because you are always finding ways to improve, and often the business around you is changing and improving too. So, you don’t want to buy a solution for yesterday’s problems or even today’s. You want a solution for tomorrow! And that means it needs to grow and morph as you and your team do the same.
This should go without saying because this is your IP we’re talking about. When evaluating IPM solutions, ensure that the highest possible levels of security are implemented. Most data centers are very secure with certifications to prove it, so the weakest link is more likely the application or the company. Make sure the whole stack is secure, and get the certifications to prove it. Your IP is critical to your business and you should have high confidence that your information is secure. Ask whether the solution has undergone penetration testing and look for security features such as single sign-on and multi-factor authentication to further protect your IP information.