Issues in Patent Renewals: A Workable Solution?


The patent renewal business is apparently undergoing some change.  Please see the press release below concerning a business attempting to address that change and provide a workable solution. 

Patentrenewal.com makes patent renewals profitable (again) for law firms  Over the past decade, there has been a race to the bottom from IP service providers to deliver the cheapest patent renewals. Falling profit margins combined with the complexity and risk of handling patent renewals globally has resulted in many IP law firms exiting the renewals industry. In an effort to reverse this trend, patentrenewal.com promises to make IP law firms’ patent renewals business profitable again.

Patentrenewal.com is a white-label web-based platform that gives IP law firms the ability to onboard their clients and sell the renewals service as if it were their own. Once a client’s patent portfolio is uploaded onto the platform, the renewal payments are automatically processed based on the client’s renewal instructions and can be viewed in real-time. Invoicing, emails and payment transfers are handled by the system, removing another administrative burden. The crucial selling-point for IP law firms is the ability to quickly scale up and onboard new clients without worrying about their administrative capacity or compromising their brand. “It’s an interesting case for automation because, contrary to the scepticism and fear surrounding technology in the legal industry, our product actually makes firms’ renewals business viable again” - Mads Jørgensen, CTO.

The strategy goes against the common trend in the IP space, but Jesper Jensen, the company’s CEO, remains bullish on the decision to integrate with firms as opposed to being another service provider: “Originally our plan was to build an automated renewals service exclusively towards IP law firms’ clients. But we soon realised that patent renewals is an important strategic touch point for clients and firms, and the connection between client and law firm was something that was being eroded by the service providers, who only focus on making payments.”

There were other reasons too, for the Copenhagen-based company to enter the market. Scepticism and paranoia have spread in the renewals market, as an entire industry has cropped up with the sole purpose of prosecuting renewal providers for malpractice after several investigations have uncovered fraudulent overcharging practices by some of the big renewals providers. In an effort to reinstate trust, the team at patentrenewal.com has focused on price transparency from the start.  All charges, down to insignificant postal fees, are shown throughout the platform and foreign exchange rates are openly advertised. “Working closely with the firms and focusing on transparency has allowed our young company to become a trusted partner and gain traction in a very short period of time.” - Frederik Wagner, CPO.

The company’s direction and focus has paid off, and after only being in the market with their product for a year, the company is responsible for more than 6000 patent renewals in 60+ countries for IP law firms in Northern Europe and has a growing waiting list of law firms. “We know that we’re up against some big forces, and we have to work hard to reestablish trust in the industry as a whole, as well as proving that our youth isn’t a disadvantage” - Nicki Friis, COO. The company continues to grow and has raised two rounds of funding (in 2017 and 2018) from private and institutional investors to quadruple their annual renewals in 2019.

For more information, visit patentrenewal.com or contact Nicki Friis at nfw@patentrenewal.com.