Posted on Monday 29 August 2016 by Cruickshank Intellectual Property

Of course, when dealing with any business partner, you want to know that an associate can be trusted to handle the given work with consistent care and efficiency. That can be more difficult when it comes to working with an overseas associate. Here, we talk about what to look for when seeking a partner that will protect your reputation, your business interests and offer confidence to proceed with other matters knowing your filing applications are in good hands.


Trust - one of the rarest commodities in business

You cannot trust everyone in business, however, with a small company, when trying to establish their reputation, will go the extra mile to deliver better service. This means they are likely to be more responsive and deliver regular updates in order to let you know that they are on top of things.

In short, a greater deal of trust can be placed in a smaller company than in a bigger firm, who may be focused on delivering better to their ‘more important’, or higher paying clients.


Consistency of service

Which brings us neatly onto the next point – consistency. When you’re working with an overseas client, you want to see the same high quality of service delivered each time an application is filed – not just initially in order to make a good first impression. Again, a smaller agency will do more to keep you on board, while a bigger agency will respond to changes in business demand. For example, if a new client comes on board, then more resources will be directed towards making sure that client is satisfied.

When there is an upsurge in business, bigger firms will struggle to cope and often deliver a poorer quality of service. With a boutique firm, there is much less likelihood of this happening, as there are less clients to deal with. If a new client does come on-board, in all likelihood, the boutique agency will recruit new staff to deal with the extra workload.


Take precautions

There are ways to ensure that an overseas partner keeps standards high. For instance, define your expectations in SLAs (Service Level Agreement) at the start of the contract. Include how regularly you expect updates on cases, this too will help.

What no business wants is issues coming to their attention long after they arose, or increased fees they were not expecting.


The lesson is, when it comes to filing patent applications, make sure the chosen foreign partner is fully committed to delivering a superior service in all your dealings.

Donal O'Connor