Introducing a new educational series for IP professionals from WebTMS

Introducing a new educational series for IP professionals from WebTMS

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for The Importance of Intellectual Property and the Value of Efficient Portfolio Management webinar

Ahead of the launch of an exciting new webinar series looking at IP management, we talked to co-hosts Ann Candura and Zac Casstevens to find out more about what inspired their careers in IP, and get their take on the problems they are helping clients to solve and why legal departments get a bad rap when it comes to innovation and technology adoption…

Why IP management with WebTMS?

Ann’s 30-year career in the global IP space has seen her developing expertise in best practices for trademark searching and watching. This led her to consider practitioner workflows across the whole IP lifecycle and the realisation that maintenance is a critical stage. After reviewing the tools on the market, Ann says: “I quickly recognised that the WebTMS platform empowers IP professionals with the tools they need to manage intangible assets efficiently, while freeing time for more substantive matters on behalf of their clients.”

Efficiency and workflow automation were also a factor in Zac’s decision to move from his start-up background into the world of IP management, as he explains: “IP departments are being constantly asked to do a lot more with a lot less, this provides a real opportunity for legal tech software to shine. Legal departments are always seen as cost-centres, so I enjoy being a part of a solution that helps deliver a more cost-effective, time saving workflow.”

On communicating a solution that works…

Despite the benefits of a powerful, modern technology approach to IP management, Zac finds that many firms still aren’t making the most of the tools on offer: “A tear comes to my eye when I see a potential client still running IP management through Excel spreadsheets or obsolete software that makes their job frustrating – I like to know I can assist in relieving that frustration.”

Nevertheless, it isn’t just a case of wading in with a one-size-fits-all solution; client communication and collaboration is key. For Ann, it’s the most rewarding part of her role: “Engaging with practitioners to learn about and truly understand their needs is a crucial first step toward crafting relevant IP portfolio management solutions for their practices.  Working closely with colleagues to develop and deliver those solutions is equally satisfying.”

On what can we expect from the new webinar series…

On the subject of good communication and collaboration, Ann and Zac are joining forces to deliver their inaugural webinar later this month. It will cover a mix of topics, including the relationship between innovation, IP, and the global economy; the critical role of IP Management relative to business strategy; and why IP practitioners are leveraging the power of legal tech to manage clients’ intangible assets. As the series progresses, guests will add their perspective and experience to the discussion, with the goal of building a centre for learning and discussion that will benefit the whole IP management community.

On the myth that legal teams are slow to embrace technology…

Asked what common misconceptions exist around the IP industry, Ann raises the “fallacy that legal professionals are slow to embrace technology,” which she says is outdated. “Today’s practitioners are tech-savvy. They recognise the value of technology more rapidly than their predecessors. The pandemic also accelerated legal tech adoption. Solutions that empower legal professionals to better serve their clients and elevate their bottom line regardless of when and where they work are as essential as a license to practice law.”

As such, legal teams now have a duty to identify and adopt efficiency solutions and many are doing so, according to Zac, without compromising the principles of security, care and caution that characterise the industry: “We have seen many clients make the switch from old ways to new in the interest of saving time and money while still remaining risk averse.”

That said, Ann acknowledges that some firms struggle to effect change, but this is becoming rarer: “Thankfully, the champions for change within those organisations realise and convince change-resistant colleagues that progress is achieved through change.”

Certainly, there are multiple drivers for change resulting from the pressures commonly experienced across the industry. “Many customers struggle with time management and the fact they are being asked to do more with less,” notes Zac. “IP teams’ budgets seem to shrink every year, so finding affordable solutions can always be an issue.”

Ann and Zac will be delving into all these challenges and more in their new webinar series. If you have a topic you’d like them to take on, let us know!

More about co-hosts Ann and Zac

Ann is a proud Bostonian, born in the “city of champions” that has nurtured many championship-winning sports teams including the Boston Red Sox baseball team, the Boston Celtics Basketball team, Boston Bruins hockey team and New England Patriots football team. Appropriately for someone who specialises in protecting innovation, Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are both regarded as epicentres of innovation – especially in life sciences and technology.

To relax, Ann heads out on a walk along Maine’s rugged coastline, which she says is “good for mind and soul.” If Ann were a brand, she would be THE RITZ-CARLTON, as “it represents the gold standard of hospitality, luxury and service.”

Zac is also fond of a stroll, often heading to the beautiful scenery, historic sites and art galleries of his adopted country of Ireland. Originally hailing from Colorado, Zac and his three daughters have called the Emerald Isle home for the past 14 years. If he’s not enjoying the great outdoors, you might find him grappling with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which he finds mentally rewarding. If Zac were a brand, he would be Patagonia. Having written a case study on founder Yvon Chouinard at university he praises the businesses approach across all areas from leadership to sustainability, to effective altruism.