For an IP professional or manager it is always a difficult challenge to encourage innovation and patent protection strategies while staying within a staffing and operations budget that may not increase at that same rate as that innovation.
We recently published a case study featuring Oil States International, an oilfield services company that managed a small number of patents. When they approached us they had a real challenge – they were asked to take over global IP filings, growing their managed portfolio from 100 patents to 500 patents without increasing staffing or operational costs. They had previously managed a part of the portfolio, and the larger global portfolio was managed primarily through outside counsel. Bringing this portfolio in-house with a centralized system was a priority.
Oil States’ IP team is a small and agile department driven by a main administrator, Sherry Horton, who is responsible for managing the global portfolio. Sherry had been managing patents for the company since 1994 and had been using an intricate spreadsheet for managing the small portfolio. She knew that the global portfolio would require more than a spreadsheet.
After a thorough systems evaluation, Oil States selected and implemented ANAQUA Element. The system met all their criteria so they immediately went into training and were up and rolling in a couple of months, managing a much larger portfolio with the same staff.
In addition to the efficiency gains, The ANAQUA system dramatically increased the visibility they had into their portfolio, highlighting gaps in coverage, upcoming annuities costs and more. It has enabled them to do things they had not expected, like improve the response time of their outside counsel and stay ahead of any docketing or annuities decisions, all made possible through web-based collaboration. They have also become a completely paperless office using the document and email management functions within Anaqua.
And perhaps best of all, Oil States was able to fund the purchase of the ANAQUA system just by leveraging the cost savings they experienced by switching to ANAQUA Services for patent annuities. They get all the added benefits without increasing their budget or team.