Wednesday, March 29, 2006

LPO Quality: Taking Stock

IPBiz has a recent post having some Heard In The Boardroom notes about the quality of LPO work being rolled out of India. Well, the comments are not all sugar and honey, and this is a well-timed signal for all the players in the space to stregthen quality control measures and stop focussing on hiring alone!

To quote the spiciest of the comments:

*I haven't used Shwegman, but I do know that EvalueServe charges roughly $5000 per application. Not much of a cost savings over a U.S. filing all things considered, and everyone I've known who has used them has been dissatified with the quality (we've taken over several applications they drafted and I can attest to that).

Am I thinking too much or was the EVS report labelling LPO as a hype meticulously timed?

*The oversea work costs about $2500 per application, but quality is poor. It takes about 10-15 additional hours of work to put the application in condition for filing.

I think I know who this (or these?) $2500 per application vendors is/are. All I have to say is caveat emptor! 5 years ago, who would have thought that one could get a patent application drafted in $2500 (that is about 10 or so hours of work by a US attorney, 10 hours!)? And those who now think that this is possible complain of bad quality. The rule is simple IMHO, if you offer only peanuts, you get only monkeys!

Finally, the comments are reminiscent of a US attorney comment on the quality of patent drafts from a particular vendor, "...even my cat can write a better patent!". It may be the right time for LPO company HR managers to explore the possibility of new feline recruits. Hey, don't take me seriously on this! Meow!