Docketing is one of the most crucial functions within any Intellectual Property department. An excellent IP docketing system combined with structured docketing procedures can provide substantial reduction in IP spending to IP departments.
At its core, IP docketing software works like a virtual assistant to the IP department. It keeps track of deadlines, outstanding payments for applications and annuities, and sends reminders to the IP team at a predefined schedule.
Here are the top 5 features of great IP docketing software:
1. COUNTRY-SPECIFIC LAW SUPPORT
The IP docketing software must provide proactive management of your portfolio with rule-driven due dates. The system should calculate the deadlines based on filing, prosecution, and grant dates for each patent, jurisdiction, and type of filing. The system should be pre-programmed with required deadlines for all major countries. It should also provide an interface for you to create your own automated deadlines and reminders.
2. PTO FILE HISTORY
Tracking statutory deadlines is critical for managing patent and trademark portfolios more effectively. Your docketing software must enable you to store Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) correspondence. The users should be able to upload all documentation into specific folders for faster access. If an extension is filed for an office action response, you should be able to view the office action, its response, and the reason with a single click.
3. PTO DATA INTEGRATION
Several PTO offices are providing electronic data access for filing, prosecution, and maintenance-related activities. The IP docketing software should leverage this technology for better data accuracy. For example, PAIR provides access to real-time valuable information from USPTO. The patent docketing software should be able to make PAIR an extension of its own infrastructure.
Workflow plays a major role in leveraging key data stored inside IP docketing. The workflow allows for distributing the right information to the right people at the right time. Several key decisions such as filing international applications or filing divisional/continuation/CIP and annuity payment review can be triggered directly from the docketing. Your IP docketing system must provide integrated workflow capabilities for faster task management.
If your IP department considers IP docketing as a critical component of your infrastructure, the IP docketing software should be able to accommodate your needs. The docketing system must provide tools to easily configure layouts for data capture, reporting, document generation, and workflows.