Established in 1920, Spoor & Fisher is known for creating and implementing robust IP protection strategies across the African continent. To achieve this, the firm works hand-in-hand with corporate clients and collaborates with legal advisors and agents who have an interest in the firm’s core geographical regions.
The firm’s Jersey (Channel Islands) division employs more than 80 staff responsible for managing around 200,000 trademarks in all jurisdictions of Africa. Each week, the firm receives around 1,000 status update enquiries from its international and multi-industry client base. By teaming up with Sysero on a new workflow system, the firm has been able to drive significant productivity and efficiency gains, ensuring that client needs remain at the heart of what they do. With the new system, the firm’s trademark formalities team can now process trademark status updates within consistently improved reporting times, and improved resource efficiency.
Challenge: Designing a New Internal Process
Prior to its Sysero system, Spoor & Fisher Jersey’s trademark formalities team had been handling a growing number of status update enquiries by referencing multiple systems and manually managing status updates by email. As the number of enquiries continued to increase, the team sought out a more streamlined way of working.
“We deal with hundreds of status update requests on a weekly basis, and we were looking at all facets of our process and how we could improve it for our clients, and staff” explained Jen Colantoni, Director of Spoor & Fisher Jersey and head of the trademark formalities team.
Solution: Embracing a New Digital Workflow
Colantoni wanted to create an intuitive technology system to streamline the entire status update process for the trademark formalities team. She teamed up with Sysero to build a robust workflow system designed to increase efficiency and accuracy when dealing with routine enquiries of clients on the status of the trademark applications and renewals.
With the Sysero Trademark Enquiry Handling Workflow, members of the trademark formalities team can easily create a list of outstanding enquiries by selecting emails within Outlook and adding them to the workflow queue. Once users are ready to process the updates, they can access their queue via Outlook or the web interface and start the workflow.
Responding to requests is fast and simple, and only requires users to select the request and provide the case number. The workflow then automatically searches for the case in the firm’s IP system, retrieves the relevant case information and merges it into a ready-to-send email template. Users can then send the email status update directly to their clients or opt to edit the template before sending. Once the email status update is sent, the outgoing email is filed and recorded against the case in the firm’s iManage Document Management System.
The Trademark Enquiry Handling Workflow also serves as an Agent Management application. By combining case data from the firm’s IP system and agent data from the Agent Management application, members of the trademark formalities team can configure the system to automatically send requests for updates to local Registries or agents based on the case number.
“With the new Sysero workflow, all of our case information is easily accessible from a single platform, helping our trademark formalities team realise significant productivity gains,” said Colantoni. “The beautifully branded web interface and customised email templates also help us ensure that we stay on brand whilst taking advantage of innovative technologies.”
Benefits: Improved Efficiency & Client Service
Overcoming Challenges with a Low-Code Platform
The entire workflow system took less than two weeks to complete, which gave Spoor & Fisher ample time to test and evaluate the system before going live. During the testing phase, the team discovered that around 1 in 10 cases in the IP system had sub-cases, which were not supported by the firm’s DMS system. This meant that the Sysero workflow would not be able to file emails associated with these cases. Fortunately, Sysero’s low-code platform made it possible to add additional code to allow for the successful handling of these edge cases.
Sysero’s low-code features also enabled Spoor & Fisher to easily customise the workflow to suit their needs. The firm’s internal Database Administrator developed the SQL code that enables the workflow to pull information from across 12 areas of the firm’s IP system to merge into status update email templates.
Revolutionising the Client Experience
Since launching the Trademark Enquiry Handling Workflow, Spoor & Fisher’s trademark formalities team have been able to quickly create a more efficient process for its clients.
“The new workflow has completely revolutionised our client service,” explained Colantoni. “Since going live with the new workflow system, we have been able to achieve improved response times consistently, which, while bringing obvious benefits for our clients, has also helped us boost internal morale as it’s now much easier for our team to manage their workloads.”
For Spoor & Fisher, the firm’s workflow revolution is far from over. Given the success of the Trademark Enquiry Handling Workflow, the firm is now planning to create additional workflows and expand adoption of Sysero’s workflow technology into other divisions of the firm.