A Conversation With an Advisor to IPEngine

bio_Charles_CellaIPEngine has a close relationship with the GTC Law Group in Boston.  GTC is an investor in IPEngine and a client.  Charles Cella and Ed Nortrup, two partners at the firm, also serve as advisors to IPEngine.  I recently spoke to Charles Cella to get a better understanding of his views on the role IPEngine plays in his practice.  The following are notes from our meeting.

I asked Charles why he formed the GTC Law Group.  He explained that he formed GTC because he saw a gap in the legal marketplace.  As a transactional lawyer at Foley Hoag, Charles was increasingly running into patent issues in licensing and VC deals.  He would go out to outside firms to get support; but over time, he noticed that  the patent work he was seeing while high caliber, was disconnected from the underlying business objectives of his clients.  At the same time, he perceived that  most of the business savvy IP lawyers were already in-house.

Forming GTC was a way to bring together IP attorneys who understand both business strategy and how to provide high quality legal services.

In addition, GTC was formed because Charles and his partners saw that the large law firm model had some flaws.  By forming a virtual organization that was more nimble,  GTC would be more capable of bringing clients the “right resources” to get the execution done—i.e. the right people, the right expertise and the right experience at the right time.

Charles realized that part of assembling the “right resources” means finding off shore providers to do some of the work.  Initially, he tried a couple of vendors in India.  Unfortunately, he did not get the quality he needed and he found service to be unreliable.

He then met IPEngine’s co-founder, Russell Franks and decided to give it another try.  Charles was impressed with Russell’s understanding of outsourcing and the importance Russell placed on carefully managing an outsourcing relationship.

In IPEngine, Charles found what he was looking for (i.e. a business oriented service provider who knows how to find and manage the best talent in India.)

As Charles sees it, IPEngine not only delivers U.S. quality at cost effective prices, but IPEngine also brings an expertise in improving the way work gets done.  Most lawyers are not good at creating more efficient processes.  They are also not good at documenting what they do.  IPEngine helps to institutionalize and document knowledge so that clients can be better served, even if a lawyer leaves the firm.

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