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It is unnecessary to explain the importance of IP for the market in which you are operating. You and a team of experts in your company are responsible for ensuring that the value of IP is optimally utilised and also for defending IP in the event of claims and infringement by competitors. This applies to both existing products and to innovations that are developed by Research & Development.

However, regardless of how well activities are organised in your department, situations will always arise that are difficult to absorb internally. This applies from an organisational point of view, due to peak loads or long-term illness on the part of an experienced internal patent agent. It also applies from a substantive point of view, when problems arise as a result of complex IP applications in parts of the world in which you have not operated before, or in relation to large one-off projects, such as legal cases and acquisitions and disposals/sales involving significant commercial or strategic interests. An external specialist may be the solution when situations like this arise. In other words: an expert IP partner who has a good understanding of your business, who knows what is at stake in your business process and adopts an approach that enables you to make adjustments as and when required.


Unfortunately, this is not always possible to achieve in practice. Firstly, it is difficult enough to anticipate when you will need to call on external help and just as difficult for an external expert to be able to respond promptly and effectively to your request for help. Nor is it easy to decide what would be best for you to do yourself in this situation and what to outsource: all or part of the case? If no structural collaboration with an IP service provider is in place at the time in question, you will find that a lot of time is lost transferring work, providing a good substantive briefing and making clear agreements about the process and – last but not least – the outcome envisaged. So, the question is: how can you gain a tighter grip on collaboration, in terms of quality, speed and cost efficiency?

White paper

V.O. has drawn up a white paper that will help you to clearly structure collaboration between your IP department and the external IP partner. The unwitting, ad hoc resolution of incidents will be replaced with a well-considered strategy, in which an excellent balance has been achieved between the activities that you do yourself and those that are outsourced. The specific examples, case studies and also the tips and pitfalls presented here are all based on the many years of experience that V.O. Patents & Trademarks has where the protection of IP interests is concerned. This document will cover all of the essential legal, organisational and strategic issues that could play a role in a collaboration of this nature. Download the white paper here and discover how to achieve the most optimal balance for you.