Keeping your IP assets current and in good standing are some of the most important responsibilities IP professionals have. Yet, the administrative tasks can be daunting and time consuming. Missing an annuity payment or trademark renewal can lead to the loss of protection, disrupt product sales, and have a significant financial impact on your organization. Worry no more, read on and meet Christine Jennings, President of Anaqua Services.
With nearly 30 years of industry experience, Christine has led Anaqua Services since 2016. Now, Christine and her team support more than 1.4m IP rights worldwide.
We sat down with Christine to learn more about Anaqua Services, the vital work it undertakes and its unique offering.
Why are payment services so important in the IP management space? How do they elevate one’s business?
Portfolio management is crucial and failure to stay on track can have substantial consequences. All the time, money, and resources spent to secure the patent, trademark, or other IP (from R&D through to prosecuting your IP) can be lost if the annuities or renewals aren’t paid. Even though it’s perceived as being quite a simple process by the market, there are so many complex elements at play.
That’s why the industry standard is to outsource these payments—having a service provider work with you means you don’t have to be concerned with this extremely critical part of the process.
At Anaqua Services, we help companies spend their intellectual property budget to their greatest benefit – protecting their most important assets while eliminating unnecessary spend.
Could you provide us with an overview of what your team does and why it is so important to clients?
My team covers the end to end process of making an annuity payment or processing a trademark renewal. We’re involved very early on, talking to prospects about their particular needs and any issues they’re facing.
Clients appreciate our early involvement and the process we follow through to the operational production. We have that consistency and a relationship with our clients, so they gain confidence in our expertise.
We are transparent with clients from the outset. We share our methodology; we share our pricing, and we share what they can expect from us. For clients to be able to replicate just that one area of our offering would require a substantial effort and resources they may not have.
For example, we have a dedicated law team within Anaqua Services. Their sole responsibility is to manage the existing laws and any new laws that are implemented across the globe and ensure they’re accurate within our system.
Clients trust us with one of their most important assets. We help make sure their IP assets stay current and protected ensuring they help drive their business forward.
How is Anaqua Services different here than other companies you’ve worked for?
I joined Anaqua in 2016 and I was just astounded at the breadth and depth of knowledge that we have within the team.
The client feedback we have, and the longevity of our clients is testament to the service we provide. It’s something I don’t think is consistent across the industry and it definitely sets us apart from our competitors.
Hyperion has recently rated our flagship AQX® platform as the Market Leader IP Business Management solution. And, in my opinion, from a services perspective the way we interface our services with our software is also the Market Leader in the industry. The level of information we provide to clients, alongside the fact that clients only have to complete actions once, makes us stand out from the crowd.
Finally, we continuously invest across the company. Anaqua Services was acquired by Anaqua in 2010, and the investment hasn’t stopped. Yes, we have to invest to retain our market position, but it’s something we all want to do and everyone at Anaqua faces in the same direction on this.
Can you give us an example of how the company is investing in AQS?
Our PSP portal is predominantly used by our services-only clients. We wanted to enable our clients to have the ability to manage their portfolio online.
I’m pleased to say that we recently went through a sales process with a prospect and our platform was voted outstanding, in comparison to competitors.
The portal features are wide-ranging—clients can look at their portfolio information and they can make annuity decisions, all in an intuitive and easy-to-use manner.
What really makes it stand out though is that patent analytics are built in. It’s not something we’ve seen on the market before and, particularly now, this unique feature is even more critical than ever, because clients are pruning their portfolios.
The PSP, bolstered with analytics, provides clients with all the information in one single place, making it unique in terms of what it can deliver.
What does success mean to you as President of Anaqua Services?
Clients expectations increase and change every year. Most recently, we had a US corporation that wanted to see more information within the software. Now, from a software and services perspective, that’s something we have to collaborate very closely on.
Within a short period of time, we collaborated with the product team, made enhancements within the software and within the operations team, and then delivered that to the client. That’s a great result for the client and more generally, for all of our clients because it applied to them too.
The fact that we’re able to get things done so quickly is truly impressive and that’s definitely helped by our priorities being consistent across the organization. Clients know that we care and we listen, and that we can actually implement those enhancements.
From a 2020 perspective, challenges have been different for clients. Some clients have faced cash flow issues and some are paying more attention to whether they’re going to renew their IP rights or not. It’s a far more cautious approach than we’ve previously seen.
Essentially, for me, success means being able to respond to these conditions and expectations to support our clients. Our flexibility, adaptability, and ability to respond to anything the client needs is something that makes us successful.
Learn more about Anaqua Services here.