IP Law Summit Fall 2019

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  • International IP Management and Cost Control


    David W. Highet, a speaker at the marcus evans IP Law Summit Spring 2013, discusses how legal department costs can be effectively managed.

    Interview with: David W. Highet, Vice President & Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Becton Dickinson


    Appointment of a member of the local Intellectual Property (IP) department to a position in an international office can be an effective mechanism for expanding the reach of the department, according to David W. Highet, Vice President & Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Becton Dickinson. Also, time differences can work as an advantage as matters can be handed over at the end of a local employee’s day and picked up at the beginning of an international employee’s day, he adds.

    A speaker at the marcus evans IP Law Summit Spring 2013, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, March 21-23, Highet shares his views on knowing what and when to outsource legal work.

    What are the problems and prospects of international IP management?

    The problem when employees are located outside a centralized location is the inability for the IP Counsel to have direct interaction with colleagues if needed. Also, if managers are not able to observe the work being done, they cannot collect objective information to assess performance. The best way to approach this is to appoint an internal candidate who has already established a relationship with the department and the company. Alternatively, a team member could spend a limited amount of time working in locations where an IP attorney is needed to get an understanding of the client’s needs, so management can make a better hiring decision when the need arises.

    One strong positive element is the time difference. If international staff work in a very effective way and in the same manner as local employees, a virtual cycle of work can be created where unfinished work – at the end of the local employees’ day – can be completed, at the beginning of the international employees’ day.

    What strategies can you suggest for reducing legal department costs?

    Firstly, a continuous assessment of projects needs to be made so that the department can define if this work will achieve the business goals. If this is the case, the next question is whether this will be best done by in-house lawyers or by outsourcing.

    Working with company procurement organizations can help legal departments negotiate service agreements and provide data on the service of vendors. This will help determine if there are any less costly alternatives.

    What tools could help determine what and when to outsource legal work?

    Staff skill sets have to match the business needs, so that the right people are doing the right job. As the business needs change, staff may need to be changed in certain ways. Work that is routine, repetitive and of high volume, is the most amendable for outsourcing.

    How can IP staff be better managed?

    It is very important to have open and constant communication with IP staff. There should be transparency regarding issues and opportunities within the department. In this way, everyone will know what their prospects are in the organization and no one will feel left out.

    Contact: Maria Gregoriou, Journalist, marcus evans, Summits Division

    Tel: +357 22 849 400
    Email: press@marcusevanscy.com

    About the IP Law Summit Spring 2013

    This unique forum will take place at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado, March 21-23, 2013. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on strategic IP management and enforcement, online brand protection and defensive patent strategies.

    For more information please send an email to info@marcusevanscy.com or visit the event website

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    Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

    About marcus evans Summits

    marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit www.marcusevans.com

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