With global patent filings at an all-time high, and budgets and resources often remaining flat, it’s no surprise that corporate intellectual property (IP) professionals and their law firm partners are feeling overwhelmed. In fact, according to key findings from the CPA Global’s 2014 State of the IP Industry Survey, published Oct. 27, 2014, 77 percent of corporate IP professionals and 64 percent of law firm practitioners highlight their growing volume of work as a “key threat to the efficiency of their IP team.”
A vital solution to this threat is outsourced IP services. The IP outsourcing industry is already valued at $3 billion* and growing, due to European and U.S. patent reform, coupled with the aforementioned increase in patent applications globally. According to a World IP Organization (WIPO) report in March 2014, annual international patent applications filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) alone surpassed 200,000 in 2013 for the first time ever, a 5 percent increase over the previous year. As a result, companies are increasingly engaging with IP outsourcing companies to meet specific custom needs, streamline workflow, and ensure that the necessary level of quality is met when working with highly technical and scientific IP. Ultimately, these companies are looking to speed up time-to-grant for their patents and better ensure the enforceability of those patents throughout their life.
Choosing the right outsourcing partner can be difficult, but the benefits are far reaching. Not only do vendors need to be able to meet the client’s needs, but the client also needs to open up to new processes and ideas that will result in a mutually beneficial relationship that can evolve – and survive – for the long haul.
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