Is Your Company at an Intellectual Property Crossroad?
It should not surprise you to learn that a significant number of vehicle accidents happen at intersections. It should also come as no surprise to learn that many Intellectual Property “accidents” happen at intersections as well.
Your company will inevitably encounter numerous “intersections”, i.e., crossroads, growing and developing an Intellectual Property (IP) strategy that fits your business plan. Maybe you are trying to identify or prioritize your company’s innovation, deciding whether to file a patent application internationally, determining a branding direction, or preparing to file a lawsuit. Much like vehicle accidents, IP accidents can be attributed to three general factors.
1. Speed is sometimes necessary, for example, to meet an imminent bar date. However, many IP issues are complicated and should not be rushed. Is your IP counsel cautious or speeding along, cutting corners because attorney hourly billing rates are chewing through your budget?
Speed causes accidents. As such, we use task-based billing so that nobody has to watch the “billable hours clock.” Every project gets exactly the amount of time required to competently complete the job, period.
2. Assumptions of all types can lead to IP accidents. Don’t assume that an IP attorney understands your innovation or your business objectives.
Is your firm simply obtaining patents and trademarks, or are patents and trademarks being carefully crafted to achieve valuable and enforceable assets that fit the business objectives of your company? Do you know the difference?
Assumptions cause accidents. We believe that a relationship between an IP firm and its clients is based upon mutual trust and understanding. We focus not only on obtaining valuable and enforceable IP, but also on knowing and understanding your innovations and corporate culture. Having both extensive legal and engineering experience, we can effectively communicate with your legal department, engineers and business managers.
3. Mistakes are a fact of human existence that cannot be completely avoided. However, sometimes, the biggest mistakes in IP are not readily apparent. Mistakes can take the form of missed opportunities to obtain protection of critical innovation or missed opportunities to obtain protection of appropriate scope for your business objectives.
Mistakes cause accidents. Accordingly, we focus on team-based collaboration and substantive partner-level review of all projects as a matter of course, at no cost to our clients. We involve our clients’ inventors and legal departments, and where appropriate, business managers to make sure that we help our clients identify and obtain the protections that fit business objectives.