Do Obama’s Tax Proposals Threaten the BPO and LPO Industries?

May 6, 2009

Perhaps.  But do these proposals have any political legs?  I guess we shall see in the coming months if the Obama administration can push these protectionist policies along while trying to deal with two wars, a financial crisis, etc.  Given everything on his plate, my prediction is that this will only amount to rhetoric to appease organized labor.


A Conversation on Export Controls

May 5, 2009

ca_logoI met the other day with Vince Canzoneri, a specialist in export compliance.  Vince has a background in both IP and export controls and he works with IPEngine’s clients in helping to ascertain whether patent prosecution can be outsourced without a license.

The issue comes up when a company wants to retain an offshore vendor to assist with patent prosecution.  By electing to work with a vendor who employs non-U.S. citizens, a company is subjected to a variety of export controls that are administered by the Department of Commerce, the State Department and even the Treasury.

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My Latest Overview of LPO

April 29, 2009

In The Complete Lawyer.  One spicy comment so far on TCL’s website.  Hoping for more!

“Outsourcing” and “The Death Tax”

April 20, 2009


Regardless of your political affiliations, you have to give the Republicans credit for their mastery of PR. By taking the phrase “estate tax” and reinventing it as the “death tax”, the Republican party was able to change public perception. Through effective wordsmithing, a tax on the wealthiest Americans was redefined as a penalty for dying.

As I talk to the legal community about legal process outsourcing, I wonder if I should take a page from the Republican playbook. Maybe the term “outsourcing” is too loaded. Maybe it is better to talk about how IPEngine is able to help law firms and corporate law departments “collaborate with talent in India” or “streamline patent prosecution”. By avoiding the term “outsourcing”, though, do I distort the nature of our work? Read the rest of this entry »

“Fan mail” from a Lawyer

April 20, 2009

I sent out a notice last week asking  for feedback on this blog (and reminding my contacts that I continue to coach lawyers on marketing while I act in a marketing/business development capacity on behalf of IPEngine.)  While I’ve been waiting for e-mails like this, fortunately, this is an isolated instance (so far).  Clearly, there are some lawyers out there who feel threatened by work being done more cheaply in India. Read the rest of this entry »

Outsource IP at Your Own Peril?

April 7, 2009

That’s the warning issued by a patent litigator in Maryland.   The gist of his arguments:

  • Americans do not enjoy the same protections overseas.  Sending patent work off shore opens Americans up to risks they might not otherwise encounter (e.g. risk of espionage by foreign governments ; risk of theft and lack of proper law enforcement overseas to address criminal behavior.)
  • Transmitting data to enable an LPO to draft a patent application in India might violate export controls at the Department of Commerce
  • The U.S. Government does surveillance of international telecommunications.  The NSA monitors calls made outside of the United States

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Reviewing the Criticism of LPO

April 6, 2009


Like other forms of outsourcing, LPO has its share of detractors.  The arguments follow the traditional cricitism of offshoring (e.g.  we should keep jobs in America).  But because we are talking about a profession which is governed by ethical rules, LPO criticism goes way beyond the typical xenophobia and protectionism that is sometimes  part of the discourse on outsourcing. Read the rest of this entry »