A very recently published article by David Flint and Valerie Surgenor titled “United Kingdom: Innovators Encouraged To Go Paperless” emphasizes the calls from various governments around the world in recent times to cut down on paper intensive work processes. This measure in the UK comes just as Gene Quinn’s IP Watchdog carried a post titled “President Obama Call USPTO Filling System Embarrassing” where Gene points out:
“Essentially, President Obama said that the way the Patent Office handles electronically filed patent applications is to print them and scan them. Sadly, that is not true, or is at least extremely misleading. It is certainly true that the Patent Office used to do things that way, but since the new EFS Web system was unveiled on March 16, 2006, electronically filed patent applications are not printed and then scanned.”
The Intellectual Property research process, albeit different from patent office work, is also a data intensive one and in recent times appears to be moving towards electronic and interactive outputs as opposed to paper based reports or static PDFs.
At Patent iNSIGHT Pro, we see a similar trends. Analysts who used the product two years back to prepare reports in Word/Excel/PDFs/PowerPoint are now asking for enterprise class implementations where they can set up online dashboard for the information consumers. This is as true for in-house counsels, as it is for service providers who want to give secure access to such interactive dashboards to their clients.
When it comes to IP research, speed is of the essence as is access to those within an organization who need it. Whether needed by management, product development teams, legal team or business development teams, the need to get the information required and a live dashboard with built in analytics features of drill-down and filtering goes well to serve the needs of multiple different people. While working with static reports this is severe road block. Usually when CxOs are presented with the research output they would have further questions and its very convenient and effective if they can quickly answer that right then from a real-time interactive dashboard.
All taken into consideration while reducing paper usage is a good enough reason to start shifting towards more automated means of managing all the research being done, it’s not the only reason to consider it. Automated delivery of research output and interactive analytics at the front end is clearly the way forward and cannot be achieved if the research is scattered across in physical documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other documents