Thursday, January 27, 2011

Law Firm Docketing Software – then and now

Law Firms have traditionally referred to their IP management software as “docketing software”, reflecting the way they have used their IP system. Typically, their traditional client-server system is used only by the paralegals and administrators. It provides a database for IP matters with data entry and reminders for deadlines. The users maintain tight control over access to the system to avoid data quality problems and the risk of missing deadlines.

Today’s web-based IP software solutions can do a lot more. They can provide electronic, paperless operations with built-in document and email management, sophisticated online query and advanced reporting. Corporate IAM systems have evolved to support key user groups outside the docketing team such as R&D managers, internal business clients and external service providers, using role-based security to define appropriate access rights. Modern workflow goes beyond country rules and date reminders to support configurable internal IP business processes.

Increasingly, law firms are looking at how they can take advantage of these developments to upgrade their IP systems infrastructure to reduce risk, improve internal productivity and provide a new generation of online client services. Workflow can be configured to implement firm policies and procedures. Online collaboration not only improves internal communication within and between offices but can also be used with foreign associates and other external players.

Some of the more visionary firms have exciting ideas for online client services. Going beyond online client access to status and portfolio reports, these firms want to provide clients with new online opportunities to initiate cases with a Client Portal. New requests for trademark searches, patent drafting or license agreements can be made using configurable web forms. Case records can be generated automatically and tasks assigned to initiate the work with an acknowledgement of the request via email or a status update on the client portal. What if clients could also report suspected infringements they’ve seen in the marketplace? More and more of your firm’s clients expect to be able to do business with their law firm using online channels.

ANAQUA Essential, our new version of ANAQUA for law firms is designed to deliver these new options. To learn more contact me – mailto:ireid@anaqua.com