Patent Lawyers, Patent Filings, and a Pandemicadmin
The novel coronavirus is causing economic disruption unseen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The unemployment figures in the US are an order of magnitude worse than they were during the recession of 2007-2008.
Some businesses are actually thriving despite COVID-19 (Amazon, grocery stores). Other businesses are shuttered (restaurants, live music venues). But almost every business is impacted in one way or another, even ones that normally think of themselves as “recession proof.”
IP research firm Patexia estimates that the global economic slowdown could result in 2-4% fewer patent filings in 2020 and 2021.
What’s a patent lawyer to do to try and weather this storm?
Maintaining good customer relations should be a priority. Your clients are real people, who may be facing tremendous challenges in their personal life. Checking in with them, which lets them know you care about them as people, not just as a source of revenue, can help strengthen those relationships.
Encourage Strategic Thinking
Every business may be worried about conserving cash right now as there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding how long the coronavirus crisis is going to last and how long it’s going to take for the economy to recover. But in business school they teach that a down time in the economy is an excellent time to invest in things that will pay benefits when the economy comes back. Increase your market share when it takes a smaller investment – in a down economy – and it’ll be easier to keep that market share and grow faster when the economy rebounds.
Many companies may be too busy during normal times to spend a lot of time thinking about their patent portfolio. This can be a good time to encourage your clients to step back and take a look at their overall patent strategy. Are there some patents they can file that would strengthen their position relative to their competitors? In a time when clients are concerned about cash, it can also be worthwhile to look through the portfolio and find patents that are weak or that have little commercial value which the client may wish to consider abandoning rather than continuing to pay maintenance fees to the patent office.
Improve Your Processes
It’s also good for you to look at your own operation in a strategic way. Are there ways you can streamline processes, or upgrade your tools to improve your own efficiency? Are you working with the right vendors on the support side?
One area to consider is patent drawings. If you’re paying more than $30-$45 per drawing, you may be paying too much. We charge well under $45, you can try us by filling details in below form.
Successful businesses make thinking about and planning for “the day after” an integral part of their strategy for getting through an economic downturn. This is an excellent time to think strategically, improve your business processes and tools, and reach out to existing and new clients so that you’ll be positioned to enjoy even greater growth when the economy comes back.