IP Matter Management
Law firms with Intellectual Property (IP) practices normally develop separate matter and risk management processes to prosecute and litigate patents, trademarks and copyrights for their clients. Speed to matter opening is critical to IP practices, as firms are pressured to meet Patent Trademark Office timelines and achieve client objectives to claim patents, particularly in competitive situations. But with IP matters frequently cross multiple jurisdictions, firms struggle to develop efficient practices to open matter families across international jurisdictions and track progress later in the matter lifecycle.
And IP practices face other unique challenges, including the need to manage subject matter conflicts. These arise when a firm simultaneously prosecutes patents for two different clients whose inventions or technology could merit the same or similar patent. Identifying a subject matter conflict requires more nuanced and detailed analysis than standard ethical conflict. Firms are often forced to painstakingly examine information scattered across information repositories to identify a conflict, or leave the decision in the hands of lawyers familiar with the practice.
Both approaches invite risks and errors that could potentially generate costly litigation.
Technology has a critical role to play to help firms manage IP matters more efficiently and identify subject matter conflicts more effectively. Yet traditional approaches are not suited to meet current requirements:
Workflow applications lack the flexibility firms need to develop and modify processes for their IP practices, tailoring approval and delegation paths to integrate IP work with overall firm strategy
Business intake forms force lawyers and staff to repeat tedious new matter opening request forms for patent families filed across different jurisdictions, lacking the ability to open patent families in bulk
- Conflicts tools help identify and analyze standard legal conflicts, but don’t have the integration or search capabilities required to analyze the unstructured data needed to identify subject matter conflicts
The Solution – Intapp Open
Intapp Open is new business acceptance application specifically designed to address the complex and evolving intake landscape. It provides a modern workflow interface and data integration capabilities that make it easy for IP lawyers and staff to open patent matter families across jurisdictions.
The Open conflicts management application enables firms to include patent and subject matter information in standard conflicts searches (including data integrated from systems including CPI and PATSY), grouping patent families together for faster resolution and alerting the firm of the hits with the highest risk. And it centralizes financial, ethical and subject matter into a single application to encourage risk management decisions that support firm strategy.