Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton on Tuesday launched an updated extranet that the firm is opening up to clients. According to the firm, the new software tool removes the need of smaller to mid-size client companies to find third-party options that can be expensive and overdesigned. With the launch of its extranet, the firm is banking on it winning over clients who don’t see similar options elsewhere.
The extranet is roughly a year-and-a-half in the making. After making a decision to upgrade its extranet, the firm looked to itself to see how it was already managing client information and how it might find value in providing that to clients. While many firms use extranets as a means of exchanging files, Kilpatrick sought to “do something big,” said Mark Mathison, a partner at the firm’s Walnut Creek, California, office.
Mathison said that patents are frequently thought of in terms of families — which filings turn into patent applications, then how those applications turn into international applications, all building a connection of documents for a particular invention across countries and through multiple filings. Patent families ultimately have trees much in the same way an actual family might. Mathison said that’s a common way to look at patents within the IP world — for an example, an associate might be assigned an entire family rather than a particular filing. The idea behind the extranet is to visualize those trees and organize them in a way that can be useful to those within the IP world, such as the lawyers or inventors, as well as those without, such as a company’s decision-makers.