What is a Virtual In-House Corporate Patent Agent?Craig Wilson
A business corporation may not have the resources to hire in-house one or more corporate patent agents to meet their patent needs, but may still require the cost effective value that an in-house patent agent brings to a business’ strategic plan. In such instances a virtual in-house corporate patent agent can be contracted to perform this role, or to support one or more existing in-house patent agents as a member of the in-house team. This is a winning solution where the business obtains the value added associated with an in-house patent agent without having the costs of creating and maintaining a full time position.
A virtual in-house patent agent can take on many different roles with a corporation. A virtual in-house patent agent can be an extension of that corporations existing patent operation by providing patent drafting and prosecution skills at fixed rates, or by performing the functions of an in-house corporate patent operation such as developing in-house patent evaluation processes to root out inventions, consider their importance to the business and rate the inventions for filing in accordance with the policy and market interests of the business.
The virtual aspect makes for building a strong partnering relationship between the parties that allows the patent agent to seamlessly work with the corporation and espouse the business culture and policies to develop intellectual property pertinent to the corporations business plan on a cost effective value added basis.
Our firm members have several years of in-house corporate patent agent/engineer experience. We prefer to think of ourselves as a virtual in-house patent operation that works with our partners meeting, facilitating, and exceeding their needs and expectations. These partnering businesses are typically patent operations of multinational organizations who are responsible for establishing and maintaining company patent policy either locally and/or globally.
In partnering, we customize our relationship with each partner so that we seamlessly and effectively integrate with the partner’s patent operations. Simply put, we strive to provide the service level you require in a working relationship that adds value to your business.
The members of this firm with company patent experience enjoyed their time working in-house. They enjoyed the in-house role they had of adding value to the business by being the conscience of the corporation’s IP policies. In circumstances where a corporation does not have an in-house patent agent, these members can provide a virtual in-house arrangement and act as your business consultant on IP policy and patenting matters. In circumstances where the corporation has an established in-house patent operation, these members can act as an extension of your operation providing support at any stage in the process of protecting an invention from disclosure evaluation, searching, drafting and prosecuting of inventions to advice on clearance for new product developments.
Our view is to take the time necessary to complete work to both our partner’s satisfaction and our satisfaction without placing a priority on the time taken to complete the work. This is achieved by having fixed fee relationships with our partners. Also, such a fixed fee arrangements allow our partners to better plan and budget costs.
This is our view of the role of how a Virtual In-House Corporate Patent Agent can work with your business to optimize your patent or intellectual property business strategy.