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Innovation is on the rise, with a handful of industries — namely IT, telecom and life sciences — driving patent growth worldwide. According to WIPO, “Patents granted by the EPO grew by 40% in 2016 – the fastest growth since 1983.” In 2016, the Chinese patent grant rate increased by 13% and in Japan and Korea it rose by 7%. As the number of granted patents grows around the world, the number of IP litigation cases has also grown – which is a serious concern for businesses and patent owners, given their high costs. Check out our infographic below to learn more about the latest trends in IP litigation and to get tips for overcoming IP litigation challenges.
It’s common practice for international corporations to employ an assortment of law firms to meet different local and regional legal needs. In doing so, a great deal of money is inevitably spent on legal translation services for cross-border or multi-country dealings.
Oftentimes, companies simply leave these legal translations to their outside counsel to handle. While this may seem the simplest solution, it actually forfeits an opportunity to simultaneously keep costs under control, improve efficiency, and ensure absolute quality across all legal translations. This is where a centralized language service provider can make all the difference.
A corporation that allows outside counsel to handle its legal translation work faces three distinct challenges:
1. Cost — We know of one corporation whose third-party attorneys contracted 72 different translation services in 2018 alone. That’s a significant annual spend. Unfortunately, with translations spread out in this way, a corporation is left with no chance to benefit from the discounts that such a hefty billing should merit.
2. Quality — With each law firm (presumably) vetting and hiring its own translators, the corporation has no way to guarantee consistent terminology or accuracy in the translations upon which its business activities depend. In addition to bearing the potential for undermining the success of current activities, imprecise translations in legal documents can lead to significant future problems. As has been proven time and again, word choice can mean everything in litigation and, with each local law firm hiring a different translator, the corporation lacks the means to comprehensively mitigate such risks.
3. Vetting — Lastly, there is no way to be confident that third-party agents are selecting translators strictly on the basis of quality and pricing, and not due to some unstated relationship that has nothing to do with the corporation’s interests.
Corporations that chooses to consolidate its legal language services under a single LSP benefits in the following five ways:
1. Translation projects gain enhanced transparency — On a micro level, the corporation gains the ability to track the progress of translations during production, and to make last-minute changes should a legal strategy shift occur. On a macro level, the large amount of work being tracked across the organization, when combined, can qualify for significant cost savings.
2. Accountability becomes straightforward and simple — By selecting a certified translation service that has rigorous internal quality control processes, the corporation recovers control of translation quality, thus ensuring that all legal translations are produced at the highest level and with the maximum protection as they guard against future issues.
3. The corporation gains control of consistency — Corporations can work with LSPs to create customized glossaries that will ensure the constant and correct use of preferred terminology for products and other common references, in every relevant language.
4. Translation memory discounts — Over time, an LSP will be able to incorporate dedicated translation memory tools for further cost reduction through the efficient re-use of previously translated material. The longer the relationship between the corporation and the LSP, the larger the company’s translation memory grows and the greater the savings that can be achieved.
5. The LSP can provide guidance — An LSP’s account services may be able to lead the corporation through each project, consulting on best practices and providing advice that helps ensure friction-free, strong, and successful legal translations.
International corporations who use outside counsel can make use of these benefits without making any difficult internal changes or creating any additional work for counsel. Simply choose a reliable and experienced LSP to handle organization-wide translations and then tell each law firm under contract to obtain all future legal translation services from that LSP. Outside counsel can instruct the LSP on your behalf, which will immediately achieve greater efficiency, consistent quality, and cost savings for your corporation.
The new year is just around the corner. If you’re thinking about how to grow your business in 2019, here’s one way that many Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) often overlook: a comprehensive IP strategy.
It may seem to some that having an intellectual property strategy is something with which only large businesses need to be concerned. However, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and others, this is not the case. Innovations developed by any company – large or small – are assets whose value needs to be protected.
IP can be a significant source of income for any company or enterprise when handled properly. Data from the most recent World Bank Development Indicators says that the worldwide IP licensing market accounts for more than $400 billion. The benefit of having a solid strategy is that IP can become a sustainable competitive advantage.
Just as importantly as the economic benefits, a robust, comprehensive IP strategy can strengthen a company internally by promoting a climate of innovation with strategies in place to achieve the optimal return on investment.
Involving stakeholders in the formulation of an IP strategy encourages cooperation in the development, ownership, and exploitation of new technologies, creative deliverables, and innovations in general.
A successful approach to IP strategy should be three-pronged. It should:
While you flesh out your plans for each of the three prongs, write them down in an official IP strategy document. This will become a “living document” that can be revisited and, if necessary, modified according to a regular schedule. Your IP strategy document should:
Here are some questions that will help you shape your IP strategy:
To ensure an effective execution of the IP strategy, an IP management infrastructure should be established. The main duties of the IP management team are:
Importantly, the IP management team should be capable of realistically analyzing the odds of success vs cost of litigation should an infraction occur, including having the tools to ascertain how strong the company’s IP is in a legal context.
As WIPO notes, “Regardless of what product your enterprise makes or what service it provides, it is likely that it is regularly using and creating a great deal of intellectual property.” That being said, SME management should always endeavor to get the most out of everything a company produces, which includes not just their products, but also the range of innovations that make them possible. Devising a thoughtful, forward-looking IP strategy is clearly, therefore, in the best interest of every Small to Medium Enterprise.
On November 15, Morningside Translations partnered with IPWatchdog to sponsor a webinar on strategies for prosecuting a worldwide patent portfolio. With over 250 attendees, the one-hour webinar – hosted by Gene Quinn of IPWatchdog – gave a detailed look at cost considerations for obtaining and maintaining a patent throughout its lifetime in key countries and jurisdictions.
The webinar included two thought leaders from the IP industry: Sherry Knowles, former Senior VP and Chief Patent Counsel at GlaxoSmithKline and one of IAM Magazine’s 10 Most Influential People in IP, and Stephen Kunin, former Deputy Director of the USPTO and current partner at Maier & Maier.
The webinar kicked off with a look at issues that matter for patents in different sectors – with the spotlight on patents in the life sciences and high-tech industries. Notably, guest speaker Stephen Kunin emphasized that obtaining a patent “is not a one-size fits all approach.” For example, the fast-moving nature of innovation in the high-tech industry heightens the need for obtaining patent protection quickly. “Here’s where things like prioritized examination or Patent Prosecution Highway are extremely important,” Kunin said. “The delays of the PCT — the 30 or 32-month national or regional phase entry — is actually somewhat of a discouragement in the high-tech area!”
Next, Morningside IP’s Dorothy Katz gave tips and best practices on how to maximize your IP budget to meet your patent filing strategy goals. She presented a cost analysis on two patents demonstrating how one could save between 25% and 35% on national phase filing costs for each. “With some planning ahead,” Quinn commented, you could use those savings “either to file for more protection in the countries that matter to you or you could add more countries to your footprint.” The savings can be very significant, especially for pharmaceutical patents, which, according to Sherry Knowles, can easily cost between $100,000 to $200,000 to prosecute.
The presentation continued with an overview of PCT and Paris Convention basics and then took a closer look at Patent Prosecution Highway fast track examinations. Here, Knowles highlighted her experience with filing under the Cancer Moonshot program, a program started in 2016 to accelerate research and development of new cancer therapies. She said one application took only six days to first office action. “I had never seen an examiner work that fast!” she said.
The discussion went on to cover PLT reference filing and a case study about the EPO and a Brystol-Myers Squibb patent relating to anti-cancer therapies. The webinar came to a close after a short summary about the key strengths and weaknesses of filing your patent in India, China, and Singapore.
If you missed the webinar and would like to watch the full recording, you can do so below:
eCommerce presents nearly limitless opportunities for expanding your sales into international markets. With thoughtful and thorough localization, you can reimagine your product story for each audience, ensuring that it resonates with potential customers everywhere.
While effective translation is obviously an important element in designing and delivering a compelling experience for international customers, it’s just one part of the story. Here are a great five suggestions for developing and delivering a successful multi-market eCommerce strategy.
As you prepare to grow your business, start by taking a closer look at your product. Does the product make sense for other markets? If you make American flags, for example, you may not gain much by selling your product overseas. On the other hand, a product with wide appeal is a natural for international eCommerce. Have a look at what your competitors are doing internationally, and attempt to assess their level of success — it may be an indicator of how you’ll do. Also try thinking outside the box a bit: Is there a specific region or culture where your product could hold additional value?
It may be that certain untapped markets are already obvious to you, but take some time to consider opportunities in other regions or even missed opportunities in markets you already serve. For example, could you reach a larger local audience if you start advertising in Spanish?
To learn more about possible sales venues, you may find it helpful to engage the services of a market-entry planning or international-market consultant who can provide insight regarding regional sensibilities. They can also keep you abreast of changing market specifics, such as local regulatory concerns or problematic product-delivery infrastructures.
Website personalization, based on individual preferences, is a powerful tool for eCommerce. Retail giants like Amazon do this tool all the time. Have you ever received a targeted offer based on your browsing behavior or previously entered information (e.g. a birthday special)? That’s website personalization. When done right, it helps sell products, leads to customer satisfaction, and generates brand loyalty that can produce repeat business.
When a customer buys your product, take the opportunity to extend the relationship by developing localized post-sales support. Positive contact can lead a customer to feel personally invested in the company. It can also lead to word-of-mouth that can generate additional customers.
Prepare and deploy responsive local-language email campaigns, social media posts, text messages and/or phone support to address the needs of customers in each market you plan to enter.
When it’s time to launch your expanded eCommerce plans, all of the marketing in the world means little if customers search online and can’t find you. The key to online visibility is the strategic implementation of SEO — search engine optimization. SEO should be localized for each market so that qualified potential customers can find you when they’re searching online for the solutions your product provides.
Something to keep in mind: Localization for SEO involves much more than accurate translations — it also requires a deep knowledge of local sensibilities to accurately anticipate the words, phrases or terminology people are likely to be searching online.
Inventing an end-to-end experience that succeeds for customers and company alike is always something that requires time, thought, and investment, even when dealing with a single market. In eCommerce, though, it’s an absolutely essential piece of the puzzle for doing business — and connecting — with people in other cultures and places. What could be better, after all, than gaining advocates for your brand, off spreading the word in their own corners of the world?
If you need help localizing your eCommerce content, contact Morningside today.