For many IP departments, business justification for an intellectual property management software remains a challenge. A convincing business case driven by strong ROI (Return On Investment) metrics can serve as a tool to overcome internal resistance to change. It can also give senior management a positive vision for organizational transformation.
It is important to understand that ROI comes from the process improvements supported by IP management software-not from IP management software alone.
The good news is that a return on investment on intellectual property docketing software is not dependent on a broad, enterprise-wide implementation. Many IP management projects begin with a single application and the benefits can be substantial. If you take a phased approach to intellectual asset management, calculating ROI on this initial deployment is even more important as it will help validate the technology and its benefits. It can provide you with evidence to scale more broadly.
Here are the five ROI metrics that can help you in preparing your business case for intellectual property management software implementation:
Time is money in today's competitive climate. It is well known that intellectual property management software will make your processes more efficient. It eliminates data re-entry for invention disclosures, committee reviews, patent bibliographic, docketing, and invoicing. It reduces the time for your team to prepare and conduct patent committee meetings or portfolio reviews.
When calculating metrics for efficiency, look at the average time that your team is spending on current paper based processes. Include the valuable time that your staff is spending on preparing agenda print-outs, packages for the team. What cost your IP department incur when there is a delay in the process? If your goal is to improve efficiency and productivity consider including the following estimates in your ROI analysis:
One of the most important goals of an IP department is to service their inventors. It is important for any IP department to ensure that the inventor community is satisfied with their services and wait times. Could efficiencies in this area allow you to improve inventor satisfaction? If you are seeking to leverage intellectual property management software to improve inventor service and satisfaction, add the following estimates to your ROI model:
The infrastructure shortcomings exist in both corporate legal departments as well as in law firms. The existing "point" based, incompatible and non-integrated IP docketing systems produce their own docketing data, deadline reminders, and keep their own duplicate set of records. For an IP department using several law firms, keeping these systems synchronized and files up-to-date can become a significant challenge and can contribute to the inherent compliance risks of manual processes.
Intellectual property management software reduces of manual data entry. Missing, misfiled and incomplete documentation results in non-compliance fines, penalties or unfavorable settlements. For ROI related to compliance, consider the following:
According to a survey of US law departments conducted by PWC, most corporate IP departments spend more than half of their budgets on outside counsel. Some spend as much as 90% or more. However, very few departments have systems and processes in place to monitor the activities of external legal service providers.
A particular firm may have especially slow turnaround, a pattern of seeking extensions of time, or unusually high charges, which may escape notice of the in-house counsel. Without means of identifying process bottlenecks, performance issues and cost concerns, managing the process becomes unwieldy and ineffective.
A framework that allows for seamless collaboration between different participants in the IP creation, protection, maintenance, and exploitation processes can help significantly into your organization's IP competitiveness. Not only does it provide visibility across all intellectual assets, it allows for better selection of firms and better management of internal resources. To measure ROI associated with communication, consider:
5) Cost Savings
Increasing accountability, workloads, pressure to manage budgets, and "doing more with less" is a common mandate for IP departments. However, a single patent family may have associated fees that can be upwards of US$400,000 over the effective lifetime of a patent, not to mention the mandatory up-front overhead for patent application preparation work by expert legal counsel. The IP management software provides you visibility into your budget allocation and usage. This can be used to stop bleeding at any point in the IP management lifecyle when it stops making sense.
The ROI metrics associated with cost savings include
Several progressive legal departments have realized better and more predicable processes, improved productivity, and better control over law firms with Lecorpio's IP management software. Lecorpio IP Asset management solution includes invention disclosure management, patent management (including docketing), trademark management, domain management, open source management, licensing management, contract management, standards management, IP transactions management, and spend management.