Global Oilfield Service Company Partners with Park IP Translations to Streamline Patent Translation and Filing While Controlling Spend

welocalize August 26, 2019

The energy sector is no stranger to innovation. Throughout the years, the process of drilling, production, and supply in the oil and gas industry has seen sweeping technological advancements. With recent challenges in the energy sector, it is more important than ever to protect the intellectual property of those technological breakthroughs.

Despite its volatility, suggestions for a “future-proof” strategy in oil and gas are emerging. One view on the subject is that technological innovation is more critical than ever. However, this strategy will only bear fruit if accompanied by a comprehensive approach toward patenting those discoveries.

An essential part of future-proofing a business in the energy sector is international growth. Gone are the days when sound risk management and adequate capitalization were enough to mitigate risk. Companies today must continue to grow – all while navigating a challenging market dealing with supply issues and increased environmental demands. Rapid growth related to IP is not new in this industry ‒ the number of annual U.S. filings for oil and gas software has tripled in the past ten years.

Below, we consider a case study on how one Global 500 oilfield services company successfully faced the challenges of international patent filing.

The Challenge

Our client is one of the five largest providers of upstream oilfield services on the planet. They have more than 60,000 employees, located in more than 80 countries worldwide. Due to the nature of their business, they require thousands of international patents per year. Unfortunately, there is no uniform international patent system. Patents must be filed in each country individually, typically in the native language of that country. The company is in constant need of reliable patent translation services. Every word matters in a patent application, which means that a seemingly minor translation error could derail a patent filing.

Previously, this company had worked with a myriad of patent firms across the 25 countries where they filed for patent protection regularly. During that process, they discovered several major challenges that ran up costs and impacted the quality of their patent filings. Their primary challenges included:

Lack of Centralization
With multiple firms working across 25 countries, keeping track of the process became a job itself. In addition to time investment, the lack of a central point of contact for translation issues impacted the quality of the work. With multiple, unconnected teams working simultaneously, the client received low-quality output that required additional administrative time and effort to resolve.

Unpredictable Spending
In addition to the inconstant output and the high administrative burdens, the client also faced unpredictable translation costs that often exceeded their budget. By using multiple vendors across dozens of countries, the cost of each translation could vary widely. Additionally, the constant need to work with new translators made budgeting for translation difficult.

The Solution

By working with Park IP, the company was able to streamline the patent translation process and create consistency in the cost of translation. Park IP had to develop an infrastructure that could be implemented to tackle the company’s challenges without disrupting the translations already taking place.

The first step was to streamline the workflow from top to bottom. With more than 50 different organizations providing translation services, Park IP created one standardized quality control process for every vendor. The process relied heavily on state-of-art technology and best practices in the program management area. It simplified communication between teams and the automated portions of the process.

Next, Park IP addressed the transparency of the projects to control the spend on translations. At its core, this step involved a uniform rate structure for translation worldwide. It provided the client with clarity on what each project should cost up-front. By implementing better systems, Park IP also reduced costs by avoiding rush orders and missed deadlines.

Finally, Park IP focused carefully on seamless integration. While these changes were significant, they did not lead to unneeded delays or a drop in quality during the transition process.

The Results

The results of these efforts speak for themselves:

  • Implementation of all changes seamlessly within 90 days
  • More than $150,000 in savings by eliminating duplicate invoicing and other cost savings
  • Elimination of missed deadlines
  • An ongoing relationship with Park IP that accounts for more than 2,500 translations annually.

Park IP was able to leverage their knowledge and infrastructure to build a streamlined process that has been remarkably efficient for this client. Don’t hesitate to contact Park IP to discuss your patent translation challenges.