Accidental IPBM: The IP Applications Landscape

Today, we find the IPM market in the midst of a fundamental paradigm shift, one in which the focus of intellectual property management as an operational discipline matures from its long-understood structural grounding in prosecution towards a more holistic approach to information management that is tightly integrated with the underlying business lifecycle. As companies begin to mature their operational capabilities with the integration of business stakeholders and drivers into their performance models, there is demand for sophisticated technologies that understand and drive the IPBM (Intellectual Property Business Management) model, and provide both depth and breadth of features and capabilities. 
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Intellectual Property Business Management: A New Paradigm

The evolution of IPM has materialized like building layers: every ascending floor is built upon the foundation of lower floors. In its initial iteration, the use of IPM systems and technologies centralized on the entry of data, most of which was docketing information and information regarding the prosecution and enforcement of specific intellectual assets—most especially patents. After widespread adoption, a new phase emerged in which we sought to expose the information to and involve a wider and more diverse audience. The hallmark of this phase was the increased use of reporting and business intelligence, which gave supervisors, legal management, business leaders and other key stakeholders access to important – and timely – data on the status of assets and the performance of the portfolio. This phase of IPM’s growth also emphasized tools for collaboration among corporate teams, law firms, and other parties involved in the IPM lifecycle, for automating routine processes (a measure of both the drive to efficiency and increasing legal cost and rate pressures), and for the capture and management of innovation and assets. To illustrate this new maturity plane in IP Management, we introduce a new term of art to capture this paradigm shift: Intellectual Property Business Management (IPBM). It is no longer sufficient to manage – nee understand – IP from a purely legal perspective, or on an asset-to-asset basis. Organizations today are now keenly interested in the impact of their IP portfolio have on their business, and vice versa. Notably, IPBM is characterized by an increased demand for greater bottom-line visibility, for insight into operations and performance, and for demonstrable improvements in practice management. In essence, the broadening scope of integrated stakeholders and alignment of interdepartmental interests demonstrates a shift in IPM from a prosecution-based lifecycle to a business-integrated lifecycle. Through the lens of IPBM, the role and effect of people, process, organization and technology within the IP operation are all essential, and data entry and access are frequently commoditized.  The overarching driver and objective of IPBM is the support of core business operations, revenue generation and corporate value with a robust data-driven decision-making program.
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Successful Automation – Sometimes It’s Best to Start Simple

Embarking on a process automation initiative, whether a first foray, retiring an older technology or upgrading existing workflow capabilities, can sometimes be overwhelming for the sheer flexibility and power presented by today’s Business Process Management suites.   These suites are specifically built to manage all manner of process flows from the very simple to the very complex, including data transformations and user interactions that can wholly change the way a firm operates.
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Challenges in Developing a BPM Solution Approach

Business process management, or BPM, is a well-established practice and solution category in the general enterprise technology market.  The human-centric capabilities of BPM—as opposed to back-end, technical process and integration automation—are of particular interest to law firms as they seek ways to improve their work efficiency, resource utilization and client satisfaction.   The emergence and maturity of matter management-oriented solutions in the BPM market has brought a wealth of options to law firms.
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Guiding Principles for Selecting a New BPM Solution

The use of Business Process Management (BPM) systems to automate and streamline operations is an increasingly critical consideration for law firms. Core processes such as new business intake, conflict clearance, check requests, new employee provisioning, lateral intake and expense management are examples of high priority focus areas for BPM.
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Automating for Impact

While traditional workflow use cases remain highly valued, practice automation gains in attraction   Competition among legal organizations, as well as challenges from non-traditional legal providers, creates incentives to introduce value by embracing process automation.  Historically, many law firms focused on process automation for New Matter Intake processes because of the enormous evident risk associated with bringing on new clients and new work, and intake persists as among the highest value and impact workflows to the firm’s business.  After all, higher levels of consistency, auditability and visibility into how business is brought on board has provided a solid foundation for addressing additional business processes focused on specific areas of legal operations.
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The Growth of Process Automation in IP Management

Intellectual property groups typically rely on “docketing systems” as the central resource for managing task assignments, deadlines and other case-related information. While traditional docketing systems provide important country rules and PTO procedures, these systems tend to be limited to their workflow capabilities, including the ability to automate processes across the IPM lifecycle or to meet unique client-defined requirements.
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Workflow Automation in Intellectual Property Management

Intellectual Property groups have typically relied on their “docketing systems” as the central resource for managing task assignments, deadlines and other case-related information.  While a traditional docketing system provides important country rules and PTO procedures, these systems tend to be more limited in their workflow capabilities to automate processes across the IPM lifecycle or to meet unique client-defined requirements.
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The Need for More Sophisticated Business Process Management

Business process management, or BPM, is a well-established practice and solution category in the general enterprise technology market.  The human-centric capabilities of BPM—as opposed to back-end, technical process and integration automation—are of particular interest to law firms as they seek ways to improve their work efficiency, resource utilization and client satisfaction.   The emergence and maturity of matter management-oriented solutions in the BPM market has brought a wealth of options to law firms.
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Automation Tools are Critical Enablers of BPM

As law firms work to implement and master their BPM initiatives, automation technologies are considered a critical enabler. Historically, firms have largely implemented process automation through their core legal applications and embedded “workflow” features in such areas as practice management, document management, or time and billing systems. These workflows were often disparate and disconnected, focusing on specific processes—they accomplished a specific purpose but did not deliver benefit from a more holistic and integrated approach to process optimization.
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