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Insights and Inspiration: Key Takeaways from The Anaqua Experience Conference

Innovation | IP Strategy
Tags: Anaqua Experience

Is IP management moving towards automation, collaborative workspaces, and integration? If you were to ask any of our clients at The Anaqua Experience Conference this June, you would get an emphatic ‘yes’.


The Anaqua Experience Conference, held in June in National Harbor, Maryland, showcased how IP management continues to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of IP professionals. To kick off the conference, Bob Romeo, CEO of Anaqua highlighted how Anaqua has grown and expanded its IP solutions and services over the last four years. Anaqua has nearly doubled in size to more than 700 employees and added resources across functions, geographies, and solutions.


In close partnership with this growing client community, Anaqua has worked diligently to build out integrated IP management platforms for both corporate and law firm customers.


“If you are trying to deliver the most value to your business, technology needs to support you to work in the easiest, fastest, and most efficient way. At Anaqua, our goal is for our customers to be able to work efficiently and effectively. To achieve this, we continuously listen to our customers, invest, and evolve our IP management platform to meet their needs,” CEO Bob Romeo said.



Three key themes emerged throughout the event.


1. Delivering IP Value to the Business

One of the central themes at the conference was how to run IP as a Business and deliver significant impact and value to the bottom line. Keynote speaker, William R. LaFontaine, recently retired General Manager, IP, Vice President, Research Development at IBM Corporation, shared insights on how this has been achieved at IBM. These are a few key questions he asked conference attendees to consider:


  • Can you get the right assets either through development within your organization or acquisition? If so, are you able to successfully set up the program to protect the assets and ultimately create the product?
  • Are you using your IP management software and tools to help evaluate which assets are the ones you should invest in and then protect those assets throughout their lifecycle?¬¬
  • Additionally, do you have a team that can help you set up an effective patent protection program? Do you have businesspeople on your team that understand technology and other individuals that offer diverse perspectives and skills?


“Invest upfront in the research of the fundamental patents that you are going to use for the next 10 to 20 years. Innovation rarely happens in one single moment, rather it is a slow, strategic progression and needs to be closely aligned with the goals of the business. Partnering with your business counterparts in your organization can help ensure you’re delivering value to the business through your IP management programs,” William LaFontaine said.


With many attendees trying to determine how to build effective relationships in their organizations, the presentation by Christof Wolpert, VP Global Legal Innovation of adidas dove further into this topic on how to market your IP team’s value across the organization. A few of his key tips included:


  • Create a lunch business network with individuals from different teams. Learn from their experiences of interacting with different executives as well as their style and reaction to different messages.
  • Celebrate team successes regularly.
  • Have frequent contact with your Board of Directors. Don’t wait until there is a crisis or litigation to start conversations with your board members.
  • Build relationships with other executives in your organization, they can help to make introductions to board members and raise any issues you may be facing.
  • Demystify intellectual property for your internal stakeholders. When you talk to Senior Managers and Board Directors do they understand your language and IP?



2. Automation, AI, and Progressively Making IP More Efficient

One of the central themes throughout the conference was the advances in automation to speed up IP processes, whether through routine tasks, PTO office data, or automating data transferred between corporate and law firm databases.


This concept was illustrated in a presentation from Michelle Saitz, IP Practice Support Services Supervisor, and Allyson Campbell, IP System Administrator from Thompson Coburn. Michelle Saitz spoke to the challenges of double docketing and set the backdrop to the importance of automation, “We all can make errors double docketing, sometimes triple docketing, and it’s simply inefficient when you do anything twice or three times.” She went on to add, “Our clients all want data transparency and to not have to wait to see their data.”  This break-out session showed how corporations and law firms can improve efficiency, provide timely data to clients, and use technology to work more closely together using Anaqua Connect™.


In the Innovation Hall, Vincent Brault, SVP of Product and Innovation for Anaqua, spoke with clients about the AI capabilities in Anaqua’s IP management solutions. He showcased current and upcoming AI -driven enhancements in Anaqua’s new time and billing solution - WiseTime™, integrating Microsoft’s Azure Form Recognizer into Anaqua’s document processing capabilities to improve quality and efficiency in document workflow management, and how ChatGPT helps summarize patent components in a few words to improve the productivity of IP professionals.


Vincent Brault briefly discussed tools in development - an AI-powered auto-classifier to apply classifications to third-party patent portfolios to facilitate landscape and competitive analysis, and a client configurable recommendations tool for IP decisions which will allow attorneys to focus on the cases that need attention and ensure consistency of decision processes across an organization.



>>> Read more about Anaqua’s IP management platform journey.


3. Integration, Connectivity, and Centralizing IP Management

More and more companies are looking to improve the efficiency of their operations by connecting their essential systems and tools, reducing time spent on manual activities, centralizing control of their IP management, and streamlining workload for users and IT.


Justin Crotty, Chief Operating Officer, and Dan Anderson, VP and General Manager for Connectivity (formerly SeeUnity) at Anaqua, discussed the progress that has been made to improve connectivity through standardized, integrations using Connectivity’s Echo Content Synchronization product (Echo), and Connectivity’s 40+ connectors. This presentation highlighted the benefits of moving from custom integrations to standardized integrations using Echo including reduced maintenance, improved reporting and data governance, and reduced downtime.


Since the acquisition of Connectivity in 2021, the number of connectors offered by Anaqua to clients has doubled and is continually growing. Connectors available now include Aderant, Brightflag, HighQ, iManage, Legal Tracker, NetDocuments, Onit, SimpleLegal, SimplyAgree, TeamConnect, 3E, TyMetrix 360, WiseTime, and Workday.


Dan Anderson said, "Echo is a key component to Anaqua's connected platform strategy, helping clients to do more with less. Integrating systems and automating processes provides clients with faster access to needed information, reduces manual processes and content replication, and helps legal teams streamline their workload so they can focus on more essential tasks."


>>> If you’re not familiar with Connectivity’s connectors, you can learn more here.


Looking Ahead

The Anaqua Experience Conference held in June provided valuable insights into the future of IP management. With an emphasis on automation, collaborative workspaces, and integration, the event showcased the latest advancements in delivering IP value to businesses. Presentations from industry leaders such as IBM and adidas shed light on effective IP management strategies and building strong relationships within organizations.


Anaqua's commitment to innovation and its expanding client community demonstrate its dedication to providing comprehensive IP management solutions. The Anaqua client community represents 50% of the most valuable global brands and 50% of the top U.S. patent owners. With continuous investment and customer-focused evolution, Anaqua aims to support businesses in working efficiently and effectively in the ever-changing landscape of intellectual property.