The most complicated parts of IP applications are the collection of materials and managing the many filing deadlines. In this way, managing IP can be much like managing any other project, and legal professionals benefit from project managing their legal work.

Most project management professionals use some form of PM tools or software to track deadlines, timelines, and projections. It’s time for attorneys to benefit from using project management to tackle their legal workload.

Legal operations tools offer curated project management support to legal departments managing the application and enforcement of intellectual property. This is possible through tracking fields and dates, litigation of IP, documents pertaining to any element of a patent or trade secret, as well as having a record of all active patents or other IP available at any given moment.

Legal project management technology manages any deadlines you need to meet. All deadlines associated with a specific element of IP can be tracked together in a larger project so you can track progress, see what is upcoming, and easily reference documents previously collected. These tools are most useful when they come with a built-in document repository to make document recall even easier. Not only does this help you manage your timeline and make sure you hit all your deadlines, it keeps all collateral handy for anyone on the team with permissions to view these projects. You can divide the work between a team, cover for each other when out of office, have legacy information stored in a central location, and store proof that you met each of the deadlines should you ever need it.

Having an up-to-date inventory of your IP enables the protection, maintenance, and enforcement of intellectual property. Knowing what you own allows you to leverage it for your business and protect it fully. Having all new, active, and past IP logged within one system makes reporting, recall, and updates easy. And it protects your business when there are staffing changes, because technology keeps everything in one place that can be accessed easily.

Technology helps legal teams that are managing IP by providing a place to track the entire IP process. Documentation can be started from inception within the tool and be a place where firm documentation of every step in the process exists. This can then be used as you audit the marketplace and litigate others using patented, trademarked, or copyrighted materials, or those sharing or utilizing your trade secrets.

For example, you can link any enforcement activities to a specific patent so you can pull a report of every time you had to enforce that patent, who infringed on that patent, what actions you took, as well as track any damages incurred during a suit.


Legal project management tools don’t just help in managing IP, but apply to all types of legal work. Even by only streamlining your IP processes, you can protect your company and become more productive. Learn more about our legal project management tool, ALOE, today.

Brycellyn LaBorde

Brycellyn LaBorde

Operations Manager, Bigfork Technologies