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IP Docketing & Client Transition Manager

Company: Cooley
Location: Palo Alto
Posted on: May 3, 2021

Job Description:

IP Docketing & Client Transition Manager

Cooley is seeking an IP Docketing & Client Transition Manager to join the IP Practice Services team.

Position summary: Primarily responsible for providing support to practitioners and lawyers in the Patent Prosecution and Counseling practice group, including client management support, focusing on efficiency, process improvement, risk management, quality control, workflow and other processes impacting client service provided by the US Filing Specialist (USFS) team. This position will also partner with other client service management to provide support of internal client service, and in the creation and maintenance of client service metrics. Oversee daily administrative operations of the USFS team. Specific duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Docketing management:

  • Confirm that all critical deadlines each day have been handled appropriately, following up as needed, and provide guidance to the docketing team for any unresponsive client teams
  • Ensure daily quality checks are in place to review critical docketing data and coordinate periodic data audits
  • Maintain regular communication with timekeepers and non-docketing staff in order to receive feedback, perceptions of docketing quality, and suggestions for improvement. Propose improvements to workflow and procedures affecting the docketing practice. Work in coordination with IP leadership team members to implement improvements
  • Regularly review team processes to identify new ways to increase both efficiency of the docketing process through improved workflows, automation or other technology and accuracy of data through data validation tools, second eye checks and periodic audits, setting a reasonable balance between these competing concerns
  • Ensure team members are developing the skills and knowledge to carry out their role effectively, identifying skill gaps and implement necessary training ensuring a consistent approach is maintained across the team

Client transition management:

  • Conduct at a minimum a weekly review of the intake and transfer out logs to monitor the status and progress of projects and ensure timely completion of all projects
  • Serve as project manager and team leader for lateral partner and group intakes and transfers out. Coordinate with other managers to ensure responsibilities are clearly defined and information is shared across the project and support team
  • Provide direct support to firm Bankruptcy and Risk Management partners, as well as Accounting, BIC, IG and other department leaders to monitor and ensure compliance with IP-specific disengagement requirements
  • Identify and provide leadership for IP practice data integrity projects across both the IP docketing software and other firm systems
  • Review and improve IP client-transition service offerings in a way that maximizes utilization of staff, while minimizing commitment of timekeeper hours to non-billable tasks. Look for new ways to improve cost effectiveness of the team
  • Maintain regular communication with timekeepers and non-CTS staff in order to receive feedback, perceptions of effectiveness and quality of the team's services, and suggestions for improvement. Propose improvements to workflow and procedures affecting client transitions. Work in coordination with other IP managers to implement improvements
  • Serve as the main point of contact for questions relating to policies, procedures, or concerns about specific transition projects, escalating unusual or sensitive issues to the Director of IP Operations as necessary
  • Ensure team members are developing the skills and knowledge to carry out their role effectively, identifying skill gaps and implement necessary training ensuring a consistent approach is maintained across the team

Local office IP support:

  • Serve as local office IP Practice Services manager resource overseeing daily operations to ensure group-wide services are effective
  • Provide leadership to encourage staff and timekeeper participation in local office events and culture
  • Proactively engage with practitioners and staff, developing working relationships to be an effective gateway to all services of the IP Practice Services department
  • Communicate local issues to the appropriate member(s) of the IP leadership team to ensure consistent and effective team management
  • Assist with troubleshooting issues and work closely with IP leadership team to provide responsive and efficient people or systems support to meet practitioner and client needs
  • Identify and coordinate staffing needs for special projects
  • Participate in orientation programs of newly hired practitioners, specialists, and staff as needed

General responsibilities:

  • Work effectively and collaboratively as a team leader and member
  • Work within the guidelines of established IP principles and practices
  • Interpret, clearly communicate and effectively enforce policies and procedures
  • Maintain high standards for internal/external client service and quality control
  • Inspire and lead in a way that gets the best contribution from a wide range of team members
  • Champion and promote diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to help drive positive change
  • Prepare and deliver oral and written communications that are concise and convey enthusiasm and innovative thinking
  • Nurture new ideas and concepts. Identify, lead and manage innovative approaches to business challenges and work with IP leadership, BPC and other departments to evolve operations and system processes that increase efficiency and mitigate risk
  • Moderate and facilitate meetings comprised of IP partners, associates, practice group professionals and other administrative staff; set and manage realistic expectations for project deliverables; put ideas into a practical context and coordinate efforts of multi-disciplinary teams to meet project deliverables
  • Continuously review productivity and efficiency of staff; recommend educational opportunities to provide training that will enhance employee performance
  • Provide day-to-day supervision of direct reports, ensure compliance with assigned work hours and monitor for compliance with all firm and department policies. Manage staffing coverage, review and process time logs
  • In collaboration with immediate supervisor, participate in hiring, performance appraisals, counseling, termination and other employee lifecycle events
  • Apprise Global Head of IP of all exempt and non-exempt staff performance problems and the IP Staffing & Employee Resource Manager (US) of all non-exempt staff performance problems
  • Prepare and maintain detailed and timely performance counseling notes
  • Recommend and implement process improvements and changes directed to increasing efficiency and improving service levels
  • Immediately report all risk management-related concerns following proscribed risk reporting process detailed in the relevant Patent or Trademark policies and procedures, typically contained in the Policy & Procedure Manual
  • Provide backup to IP leadership team members, as required
  • Independently manage and work collaboratively on special projects
  • Maintain department procedure manuals
  • Responsible for maintaining safe and healthful working conditions within the department and to communicate safety practices to the team
  • Exercise care in the course of work to prevent injuries to oneself and co-workers
  • All other duties as assigned or required

Skills & experience:

Required:

  • After orientation at Cooley LLP, exhibit proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite, iManage and other firm applications
  • Ability to work extended and/or weekend hours, as required
  • Ability to travel, as required
  • 5+ years experience in an IP-related role
  • 5+ years supervisory experience in a professional services or law firm environment, with proven ability to manage, coach and motivate
  • Project management experience
  • Experience in docket system utilization, data management, and docket integrity and control using Inprotech or comparable IP docketing system
  • Experience researching IP status and history in PTO databases, including USPTO systems (PAIR, EFS, TSDR, TEAS), WIPO Patentscope and Madrid Monitor, the EPO Patent Register, and EUIPO eSearch, as well as public databases in other jurisdictions
  • Possess working knowledge and keep abreast of rules according to USPTO procedures, 37 C.F.R. and the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) rules

Preferred:

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Previous law firm experience

Competencies:

  • Ability to work independently and under pressure/tight time constraints
  • Aptitude for multi-tasking
  • Creative and entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving and process improvement
  • Strong analytical ability and implementation skills
  • Strong project management skills
  • Flexible and agile, ability to reprioritize with changes in the business
  • Ability to meet deadlines and effectively complete operational and project-based assignments
  • Strong initiative and a get-it-done attitude
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, leadership and management skills
  • Customer service oriented, as demonstrated by strong attention to detail, organization and ability to prioritize work tasks and manage deadlines based upon internal and external client needs

Cooley offers a competitive compensation and excellent benefits package. EOE.

Pursuant to the Colorado Equal Pay For Equal Work Act, please find the compensation range specific to this role if based in CO, as well as a description of bonus and benefits generally applicable across all US offices.

  • Colorado pay range for this role, with final offer amount dependent on skillset and experience - $115K - $140K annually.
  • Other compensation may include an annual discretionary merit bonus.
  • Employees in this role will have the option to elect various benefits, including medical, dental, vision, accidental death and dismemberment, life insurance, dependent life insurance, long term disability, long-term care insurance, health savings accounts (if enrolled in an HDHP), health/dependent care spending accounts, 401(k) and profit sharing.
  • Other benefits include PTO and the option to participate in our tuition reimbursement program and wellness program, which includes fitness reimbursement each year.

Keywords: Cooley, Palo Alto , IP Docketing & Client Transition Manager, Other , Palo Alto, California

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