Turning up the volume on a quiet revolution

Innovative technologies are driving a transformation that is turning up the volume on a quiet IP revolution.

In times gone by, IP was often regarded as a back-office business support function by the C-suite. Detail driven and heavy on paperwork, IP was often perceived as an uninspiring but necessary corporate house-keeping function. IP is now being rightfully catapulted to the top of the boardroom agenda and putting the work of IP people under much greater scrutiny.

The assets in today’s IP portfolios are managed and traded in a way that makes them the currency of a burgeoning ideas economy. The pace is faster, competition is more intense and the stakes are higher in IP than ever before. Little wonder that recent and extensive research undertaken by CPA Global shows an industry of experts calling out that the biggest recent change in the IP industry is the pace of change itself – fast accelerating and totally unrelenting.


Talking to a broad cross-section of global IP practitioners and opinion formers, CPA Global’s survey evidences a set of shared pain points in modern IP management. Divergent systems, a lack of standardisation, ever-intensifying pressure on resources and scrutiny on results are all cited as typical headaches faced by corporate IP departments and the law firms that serve them. All evidence points to the fact that it’s time for a game-changing shift in approach.



The research suggests that IP professionals are looking for support across the entire IP life cycle. They want software, services and information that can foster IP collaboration and value-creation across the full breadth and complexity of their organisations. They are looking for simple, seamless solutions that deliver enhanced visibility and support better, more joined-up workflows and communication that make the business of IP management easier and altogether more effective. Moreover, they want to see information management that is better integrated and combines internal and external data and insight to support smarter IP decision-making.

Unsurprisingly, IP people see technology as the lynchpin that will transform working practices, making the business of IP simpler, faster and more conducive to achieving real-time results. But they also recognise that IP will always be a people business, where codified knowledge, experience and intuition have a role to play. Thus technology must play an important, but empowering role in the delivery of next-generation IP management excellence – connecting people, processes and information in new and agile ways.


The wish-list for professionals describing the future of IP is extensive – simple, intuitive, joined-up products and services; information at their fingertips; expert resources on tap with broad and deep knowledge that is easy to access and apply. Product and service synergies from a single supplier that multiply the value IP departments are able to deliver. Partners that help to create clear competitive advantage at a pace which puts practitioners well ahead of the game.

Evidence suggests that IP professionals are already shifting their focus in response to market pressures. Last year, Innography, CPA Global’s innovative information and analytics division, asked customers how they were using their products. Back in 2014, patent portfolio management, licensing, and research and development were top priorities for the application of IP insight. But by 2015, competitive intelligence, a business-focused use case, had jumped to the top of the leader board. Mergers and acquisitions, and other business-focused use cases, had also increased dramatically.

With a 45-year heritage and unmatched scale and scope across a trusted global network, no one is better equipped to deliver end-to-end support and unlock the true value of IP

But what is driving this change to business-focused use cases? In short, it is the increasing threat of competition across almost every industry, driven by technology convergence and the explosion of information in the public domain. Moreover, globalisation and the growing strength of China in the world economy may be delivering new market opportunities, but these come hand-in-hand with a body of patent data that is growing at an unprecedented rate.

Organisations are having to respond quickly. Change is no longer an option, it is clearly a necessity. Herein lies the burning platform that is forcing the IP revolution to the front pages and front of mind for C-suite executives the world over.



CPA Global’s chief executive Simon Webster explains the action his organisation is taking based on the project outputs. “Our recent research has taken us closer to our customers than ever before,” he says. “They’ve expressed their aspirations for the future of IP and we’ve heard them loud and clear. We’ve relaunched our global business on the strength of the insights we’ve gathered and we’ve re-engineered our portfolio to deliver an altogether better connected, integrated and collaborative experience.

“For us this is a transformation that has been some time in the making. With a 45-year heritage and unmatched scale and scope across a trusted global network, no one is better equipped to deliver end-to-end support and unlock the true value of IP. Analysing more than four million patent updates each week, we have our fingers firmly on the pulse of information in a fast-changing marketplace, which means we’re well equipped to lead our industry to the next level.”

A closer look at CPA Global reveals that the business is certainly positioned to deliver on this promise. The organisation has been building capability significantly in recent years. In 2014 they acquired leading search experts Landon IP and brought IP information innovators Innography on board in 2015.

Now, under a single, global brand, the business offers a product suite of software, services and information to support the entire IP life cycle, presented as much-needed help and support for IP professionals looking to play their part in an IP revolution.

For the full report The Future of IP, visit cpaglobal.com/future