4 Weakest Links in your Trademark Renewal Service (and How to Fix It)
Published on: 01 October 2015
In the multifaceted trademark world, you may think your trademark renewal vendor meets your needs and has a robust plan, but is this true? What are the (unidentified) weak links in your trademark vendor’s service?
Imagine your renewal service as a blank page in your IP coloring book; how you examine it will fill the colors in and build a vibrant trademark operation.
Here are four of the most common weak links in renewal services- and how to fix it.
1: You are contracting for more services than you need
Each company and trademark team has different needs, but renewal services are one-size-fits-all. The typical service is a single model that bases the price on the number of trademark records. If you need less services then offered, the price ussually stays the same. Maybe some minor modifications.
The result is that you leave money on the table by purchasing services not needed.
Fix: Ask your vendor what options they have to reduce the level of services they offer (if any) and understand the impact on price. Then, create a list of your internal processes and map this to the (reduced) services offered.
This one-to-one process map helps to clearly identify required areas of support and a better understanding of what you may not need. Then, you may have an opportunity to drop unneeded service options.
This is a basic, yet essential, step to start coloring in your trademark renewal page.
By way of example, Dennemeyer’s Standard Renewal plan is very cost-efficient. It comes with a standard set of processes and procedures. There is flexibility, but with the flexibility comes additional cost. The mapping process helps determine what additional functions are needed, if any.
Many may find that they can adjust their internal processes to make the Standard offering work and deliver significant cost savings in the process.
2: ‘Low-cost’ but obscure services provided
You are ecstatic to sign on for an incredibly low renewal rate and expect significant savings. However, somehow, the savings never seem to materialize. Sounds familiar? The renewal vendor may offer a fantastic per record rate and obscure other charges.
This causes frustration and anxiety as you fail to deliver the cost savings expected.
Fix: Look beyond the “per record fee”. Request and examine a full list of potential “other fees” and carefully compare this to your list of exceptions and common situations.
For example, do you often require an assignment change at the time of renewal? Does the renewal vendor do this and if so, is there a cost? What do they charge you to notarize a document? What do they charge for a courier?
When you couple this examination with Link 1, the service itself, your coloring page is over half full of brilliant details.
3: Feeble agent network and limited direct filings
Each vendor, firm, and company will have their own agent network, but what are their strengths? How do you know an agent in Country X provides the best rate? Direct filing is always the best as it eliminates the agent fee, and for the rest, a reliable agent network is vital.
Building, then sustaining, such a reliable network can be time-consuming and uncertain.
Fix: Examine the vendor’s agent network. What are their agent requirements? How do they hold them accountable and to what standards? Dennemeyer will allow you to continue to use your existing foreign agent network, but doing so is often more expensive than renewing through their network.
Think of it as coloring in the critical pieces of your page for a cohesive image.
By example, one recent customer reduced their agent fees by almost 30% by going to the Dennemeyer network; they also reduced their ‘per record fees’ by 56%. If they had shifted to the Dennemeyer Standard offering they could have reduced their service fees by 81%.
4: Lag in updates for legal changes across jurisdictions or increase in the official fees
It takes fortitude and time to track each country’s renewal requirements. Are you being proactive? Consistently? For example, what changes go into effect in the British Virgin Island September 2015? [Hint: no longer possible to extend UK-based registrations.] Did you know that in May 2015 the official trademark renewal fees in Venezuela have increased by +/- 1300%?
It is more time effective to relieve your internal group and outsource this activity to your vendor. However, your vendor must not lag in tracking or communicating jurisdiction changes and requirements.
Fix: Inspect your vendor’s procedures on communicating and tracking jurisdiction changes. How often do they provide an update? How or when will they communicate?
Though this last link is the most fluid, by giving pre-consideration to an often overlooked area, your trademark renewal coloring page is now complete.
No Weak Links
A brilliant coloring page is hard to fill in. But, when you scrutinize vendors against these four weak links, you will be armed with the intelligence needed to make the right choice.
Dennemeyer’s customers can choose between scaled service plans that fit each organization's particular needs. Interested in comparing services to see how much money you are leaving on the table?
Contact a Dennemeyer representative today: www.dennemeyer.com
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