Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting Intellectual Property (IP) Management Software

The investment made in intellectual property (IP) management software can do wonders to help IP departments gain visibility, reduce administrative costs, improve accuracy, and increase productivity. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of purchased IP management systems are never fully implemented or do not provide the utility that the customer expected.

Here are the five most common mistakes made when selecting IP management software:

Mistake #5: Not knowing what you really need in IP management software

Before you dive right into choosing a solution, take the time to understand what you really need. To get started, determine if you need fully integrated IP asset management software, patent filing software, or IP matter management software.

This often depends on the problems you’re trying to solve or the opportunities you’re trying to capture, as well as the size and structure of your department. For example, if you don’t file a lot of patent or trademark applications, you must first organize that data into a centralized repository. Your core team should be able to access and generate reports from them.

If your IP portfolio is getting large enough for you to manage, and you think that providing access to the inventor community and law firms can reduce administrative costs, you should look into a robust IP management system. This type of system will allow you to streamline your processes and improve productivity at a lower cost and with fewer resources.

Before you dive into the selection process, ask “What are our top five needs?” If these key needs are not identified, it can be difficult to distinguish between providers. Many sellers claim to do many things. The vendor’s strengths must match the key needs of the business.

Mistake #4: Not recognizing the uniqueness of your business

Each IP department is unique. Without configuration capabilities within the software, it is more susceptible to failure during software implementation.

While the initial license and maintenance fees may sometimes seem lower, these coded solutions will often result in higher costs due to extensive customization requirements, upgrades, ongoing maintenance, and longer system implementation timelines. Essentially, you can end up reducing and delaying your overall return on investment.

Avoid choosing software that limits the capabilities of your team and the growth of your department. Your software should enhance your business, not hinder it.

By choosing an IP management software solution that can be tailored to your business processes, you’ll gain better user acceptance, greater efficiency, reduced costs, and a faster return on investment.

Mistake #3: Not including Key Users in the Selection Process

Surprisingly, many IP departments still select IT systems without requesting meaningful input from key users. At the beginning of your selection project, form a selection team with representatives from all affected teams, such as patents, trademarks, dossiers, licensing, compliance, and billing. Active involvement of key stakeholders will not only help ensure all bases are covered, but will also result in a better decision and fewer complaints after implementation.

If possible, you should also include a representative from your IT department. The IT Liaison can help you identify any issues related to implementation, data migration, integration, and security.

Mistake #2: Evaluate Too Many Vendors:

Avoid vendors who offer a “too good to be true” deal. You may find yourself missing out on the essential tools you need to run your business after implementation. Many of these trading systems they also provide very rigid solutions, making it difficult for you to meet the unique needs of your inventors, patent committees, and law firms. Additionally, you may need to reinvest additional money to upgrade, or in some cases replace, your system later, thereby reducing or eliminating any savings you might have originally experienced.

Choose no more than four providers at the beginning of your search. If more than four are chosen, it is often difficult to remember who does what. If none of the first vendors meet 80 percent of your key needs, scrap them and start researching several more.

Mistake #1: Not investing in intellectual property management software for the long term

When choosing IP management software, be realistic about your expectations and cost perceptions. You are making an investment to improve or enhance your processes. So while the money invested is important, the key is choosing the right IP management software. Choose the right partner that will provide you with a fast and efficient implementation, a high ROI (return on investment) and a low TCO (total cost of ownership) after implementation.

Use your intuition and good business judgment when comparing vendors’ costs. Look for apps that support your ability to achieve your department’s major long-term strategic goals and work within your budget. Rushing decisions in favor of the lowest cost IP management software solution or vendor now can leave you plagued with hidden costs later and delay or eliminate any ROI for your business.

Several forward-thinking legal departments have realized better and more predictable processes, increased productivity, and better control over law firms with Lecorpio’s IP management software. Lecorpio’s IP asset management solution includes invention disclosure management, patent management (including filing), trademark management, domain management, open source management, license management, contract management, standards management , IP transaction management and expense management.

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