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The global outsourcing market stood at USD 92.5 bn in the year 2019, wherein India dominates by capturing more than 50 percent of the market. In this share, Intellectual Property Research has been an upcoming field, which can be attributed to the fact that technology giants such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, Qualcomm, etc. are outsourcing their intellectual property (IP) work to Indian IP service providers.

IP service provider can support the clients with various functions ranging from search, analysis, proof reading, drafting, patent filling, to research & development. An organisation can outsource the IP support functions under two formats. One could be a format based on partial sharing of the work, wherein the organisation opts to do a certain amount of work in-house and brings in outside help with a major objective of reducing the turnaround time. Various law firms operate on the similar model, outsourcing the prior art search, invalidity search etc. to the IP service providers and conduct the drafting and filing of patent applications within the organisation. Under the other format, the organisation seeks outsourcing services in areas of specific domain or technology where they lack experience or manpower. This model is mostly prevalent across technology companies outsourcing services such as patent landscape (of specific technology), FTO (freedom to operate) etc. to service providers offering specific domain expertise.

The outsourcing models followed amongst different organisations provide various benefits. The major objective achieved through outsourcing is cost reduction and improved turnaround time. In addition to this, it helps organisations leverage knowledge and experience of an IP service provider contributing towards the development of a strong intellectual property strategy. The importance of IP outsourcing is reinforced by the fact that many organisations lack the strategy and management expertise required to unlock the value of their IP asset. Moreover, it is not always cost efficient, strategically aligned or sometimes viable to build such expertise in-house. This is precisely the same logic that drove the outsourcing of IT, which resulted in major efficiency gains. IP outsourcing can convert what is often a reactive, defensively focused cost centre into a proactive, strategically important profit centre.

Further, it also provides a more effective operating environment at the backend, enabling a competitive edge over the potential competitors, aiming to enter the marketplace with a similar product, process, or brand. Thus, IP service providers can present an organisation with an optimal solution through efficient IP support functions, enabling them to focus on their core businesses leading to increased productivity and improved profitability.

Further, for SMEs, IP asset becomes far more important as they are light on other resources. To make sure that the SMEs leverage their IP – it’s paramount for them to understand its value and engage a professional IP vendor who can take care of their IP and advise them on various fronts. Now, outsourcing of IP work by SMEs has become economically viable and offers various advantages such as reduced costs, improved quality, domain expertise, and quick turn around time. Outsourcing enables the SMEs to concentrate all their efforts and energies towards their core competencies of product/service development and free themselves of how to manage/ build/ monetize their intangible assets. Especially, for SMEs, outsourcing is considerably cost effective than recruiting a full-time employee, and cheaper still than hiring the strategy and administration skills required to deliver the service effectively. The IP vendor acts as external experts and becomes the extended arm of the SME by providing them various IP services and advise them on all aspects relating to IP. Outsourcing the IP functions helps SMEs in reducing cost, thereby increasing the profitability.

Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that IP strategy and management is essential to an organization and it drives performance, gives competitive edge, and provides longevity. What matters is not the mere ownership of IP but how to unlock the true potential of the IP asset in possession. It is about creating the value out of the owned IP. If what counts is how an organization uses its IP as a tool, then outsourcing this function to external IP vendors who are experts in identifying, developing, managing and leveraging intellectual property makes commercial and strategic sense. Outsourcing is driven by the fundamental economic principle that specialization increases economic efficiency. In an IP context, it allows the organisation to focus their resources on their core area of expertise while having its IP assets being managed by an IP external vendor that specializes in precisely this area.

We, at Intricate Research, provide end-to-end patent research & analytics solutions. We help our clients in entire patent lifecycle providing legal, technology & market consulting which allows them to focus on their core expertise and stay ahead of their competition. We efficiently assist clients in matters ranging from patent drafting to patent monetization. We provide cost-effective top-notch patent research and analytics services. Our core strength lies in providing innovative IP solutions performed by a specialized team of techno-legal experts. ​We have expertise working on Hi-Tech and cutting-edge technologies (such as LTE, 5G, Telecom Standards (3GPP/ ETSI), Video Standards (H.264/H.265), IoT, Autonomous Vehicles, Smart Homes, VLSI, Blockchain coding, Cloud Computing, Life Sciences, DNA/Gene Sequencing), Automotive, and Mechanical.

References: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

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