DocketEngine represents a fundamental departure from the conventional way that technology supports organizations managing the accelerating pace of IP.
Docketing is at the core of IP practice management. Although docketing is a well-established process, most IP teams are challenged to meet the demands of their day-to-day workload. While paper files have been largely replaced by email, docketing is still largely a data-entry oriented activity that relies heavily on knowledgeable, experienced staff. It is labor intensive and time consuming.
Although new, more sophisticated IP management systems have been introduced, these systems have focused on almost every area other than docketing. Few innovations have been introduced that fundamentally improve the efficiency or reduce the data entry workload of docketing.
On July 18, 2016, LumenIP announced the availability of DocketEngine™, the first major innovation in docketing automation and a fundamental departure from the conventional approach to prosecution management. This revolutionary new IP management system is the first of its kind to tightly integrate the use of electronic PTO data with highly structured prosecution rules to create a fully automated docketing solution. DocketEngine automatically opens and closes docket tasks; tracks and triggers available extensions; and allows close control and monitoring of all prosecution activities.
Why The Need for DocketEngine™
As patent and trademark prosecution becomes increasingly complex, corporate IP teams and law firms are seeking ways to improve the efficiency and quality of their operations. While technology has held great hope to increase productivity, the automation of docketing has remained elusive.
DocketEngine is a game-changer. Where existing IP systems focus on docketing as a data entry activity, DocketEngine has been designed from the ground-up to use electronic data to eliminate data entry and fully leverage automation to improve the quality and reliability of the entire prosecution process. Conventional systems have focused on data entry, DocketEngine focuses on automation.
While legacy docketing systems have sometimes attempted to use PTO data, because they are built as data entry systems, the use of electronic data is merely bolted on and cannot enable true automation. DocketEngine, on the other hand, is specifically designed to work directly with electronic data sources and therefore enables complete automation of the docketing process. With DocketEngine, the focus shifts from data entry to monitoring and QC’ing the docket. This offers substantial benefits in reduced staff workload and increased quality.
How DocketEngine™ Works
The DocketEngine design is comprised of three main components. The first component is a cloud-based rules library. The rules—or “country laws”—define the specific procedures for each country and IP record type. DocketEngine is built on LumenIP’s unique cloud law engine which continually synchronizes rules, keeping every system up to date automatically and eliminating the need for manual software updates. Clients maintain control over the rules update process, but are provided a much easier to use administrative approach that takes less time and effort.
To keep abreast of the latest rule changes, LumenIP has also organized a unique “country law community” of IP professionals from across the world. A type of crowd-sourcing, LumenIP’s objective is to democratize IP country laws and remove the mystery in docketing practices. The community helps drive updates to the rules library, and provides community members the latest news and procedural changes to country laws. In addition to the rules, customers will be able to directly access the community’s practice guides and discussions as valuable reference resources.
DocketEngine’s second main component is its electronic data feed. Built with flexibility, the feed is designed to support a range of different sources for docketing related data. The primary source is direct PTO data provided by the government offices through sophisticated data exchanges. Currently the U.S. PTO, WIPO, EPO and a handful of other countries offer these services; and the list is continuing to grow allowing DocketEngine expand its coverage.
Where direct PTO data is not available, DocketEngine provides a data intake facility for other electronic data formats including attached data files and email. DocketEngine can extract data from these sources, and process in the same manner as direct PTO data. As a last resort, where electronic data is not available, DocketEngine can use traditional data entry input.
The final component is the DocketEngine rule triggering mechanism. This component brings the rules library and electronic data together to produce the docket tasks, extensions and de-docketing. The high level of automation helps ensure that the docket for each matter is up to date and follows proper procedures, aligned with the user’s desired process. DocketEngine allows for a much cleaner docket, free of false over-dues and orphaned tasks. In addition, the system provides a flexible user experience to organize, view and create reports.
The combination of these three components allows DocketEngine to provide a highly innovative and advanced approach to docket management. IP teams are finally able to leverage true automation to achieve improved productivity and reduced time spent on data entry and other low-value work.
Getting Started with DocketEngine™
In building a revolutionary new IP docketing solution, LumenIP has also taken a novel approach to how deploy DocketEngine. What is unique about DocketEngine is that it is not a full end-to-end IPM system like Anaqua, CPA Global, Lecorpio, or Thomson Reuters. Instead, DocketEngine is a specialized, cloud-based technology service that can be used in conjunction with other IP systems. In LumenIP’s press release it announced that DocketEngine would be immediately available as a module for the IPfolio IP management system. Future releases from LumenIP will include DocketEngine integrations to other IP and matter management systems, and the use of DocketEngine as a standalone reference tool to be used by IP professionals to check and verify their dockets.