According to PederCarlborn, President of Acumass--who possesses an invaluable 30 years of experience from leading positions working with international administrative payment services--the genesis of digital transition within the IP sector occurred in the year 1978, when the world began to witness the tremendous potential of early computers. Given that the usage of computers meant an expensive endeavor in those times, two patent attorney firms based out of France, decided to take a giant leap of faith. In what was a never seen or heard before attempt, the two firms came together and joined hands with IBM computers to develop robust IT systems for efficiently calculating patent annuities’ due dates and bespoke software that could produce on-print reminders for clients.
As the IP software of the two companies evolved over the years, the widespread success of this initiative garnered the attention of other French annuity firms who came forth to collaborate with the original duo as shareholders of a collective IP service group. The core agenda behind the alliance served the shareholders with an advantage of paying all their annuities through a same channel ‘payments by volume’ effect. This unison of nine patent attorney firms marked the very foundation of Acumass, a market-leading IP management firm that carved its niche through its unique approach of providing comprehensive, secure and cost-effective renewal services for businesses and intellectual property owners across the globe.
Entering into the 90s, as Acumass spread its wings and transformed, the company decided to upgrade their IP software to make it more agile and customer-centric. It was during this time in 1996, Acumass appointed Olivier Barloy, a former IT manager for one of the French annuity shareholders, as the Group CEO of Acumass. Today, after years of evolution in patent annuity metrics and technological perfection, Acumass is well-positioned to provide the need of the hour, a robust and global IP management service with exclusive specializations in the maintenance of patents, designs, and trademarks for its clients. The company’s service portfolio also includes validation of European patents, domain name services, consultation, and administration of PCT applications. With an exceptional track record of delivering state-of-the-art software, Acumass carries out renewal processes for its clients that need an inexpensive renewal alternative in the market.
After establishing a local company in China 10 years ago, our business has recently catapulted to new volumes- thanks to the growing awareness and traction for renewal services
For the most part of the history, the growth of intellectual property management space was curbed by persistent challenges that encompassed cost and transparency in payments. Traditionally, businesses in the modern economy found it difficult to determine the value for their expenditure on the entire renewal process. For corporate IP owners, processing patent annuities in-house required managing a multi-national network of agents, and that came with significant business risks. At the same time, managing IP through outside counsel was tremendously expensive. Leveraging years of experience in the patent renewal space, Acumass has effectively eliminated these roadblocks and has successfully reduced the costs for its clients. The veteran, Mr. Carlborn says, “Around a decade ago, we decided to get on the forefront of breaking down service efficiencies, currency conversions and curbing the effects of hidden terms and excessive mark-ups. As a result of this initiative, we have been immensely successful in gaining the trust of clients.”
A distinct aspect of Acumass’s service approach lies in the delivery of their service offerings, which is highly systematic and step-by-step model. Even though the company has a full management software suite ready and available for clients, it is not entirely the highlight of its offering. Acumass focuses on clients that have their system already in place, and ones who seek for good quality, and inexpensive renewals alternative. The company can either integrate the client’s existing system to make it like its own or fully automated, and integrated according to their unique needs.
The Customer Centricity
Keeping in mind various factors such as country and specific needs of the customer, Acumass offers its clients with a provision to avail its services in a very business-centric and customized fashion. Given the gravity and seriousness of the renewal endeavor, clients are often cautious and more likely to test the waters before engaging with the service provider. Acumass assures the client before taking over their portfolio and develops a profound understanding of the same. This helps the company in devising a strategic renewal plan as Acumass determines the specifics of the responsibility for the payments. The company ensures that the client’s information is renewed in a specific format and in enough time before the due date. Acumass’s team uploads the renewed information onto its system to check for errors. The customer also gets a chance to review everything before the deadline. Once Acumass has an agreement with a client, the company proceeds with the responsibility of streamlining payments. However, in the case of not receiving a response from the client’s end, Acumass voluntarily takes over the responsibility of automatically paying everything due. “From there on, we continue to send monthly or quarterly basis reminders to the client depending on their choice,” adds Mr. Carlborn.
Unlike other service providers who are more likely to sell their software system and renewable services as add-ons and back-end services, the company brings in a unique kind of flexibility and customizability with its system. Acumass’s recording feature further makes it easy for customers to identify critical assets and systematically cut down their costs. “The key differentiator for us is our transparency. We pay all the costs, including the outlays, the agent costs, currency conversions, and exchange rates,” explains Barloy. Also, Acumass has a very personalized service offering where the company helps its customers in effectively eliminating the complexity of dealing with different call center personnel and having to explain their concern all over every time they try to reach to the service provider. By deploying the same people answering the phone for the customers, Acumass makes it easier for them to find a familiar face and voice, as a contact person on the other end. In a nutshell, Acumass’s flexibility, the lengths that the company goes to customize the way it deals with the client and its transparency are the three core factors that allow them to stand out from a standard service provider.
Embarking onto a new endeavor within the renewal service sector, Acumass has recently developed its proprietary web portal, which has brought tremendous success for the company. The web portal allows Acumass’s clients with the convenience of understanding and following up on various details about the status of their payments’ operations being carried out by Acumass. The portal provides customers with an option to direct Acumass with specialized instructions to process their payments, as the portal allows them access to all the information that they need to know about their portfolio. “Our clients can now innovate with equity, find official receipts of their payments done by Acumass, and they can easily create budget reports through this technology,” says Barloy.
"The key differentiator for us is our transparency. We REPORT all the costs including the outlays, the agent costs, currency conversions, and exchange rates"
From a geographical standpoint, Acumass has planned on penetrating deeper into the Chinese market. The company also has plans to expand its footprint to encompass several more industries in North America as the company, improving its web portal and enhancing its domain expertise to serve a broader range of verticals. Mr. Carlborn affirms, “After establishing a local company in China 10 years ago, our business has recently catapulted to new volumes- thanks to the growing awareness and traction for renewal services.” Backed by a competent workforce and a healthy organizational culture, Acumass has established a benchmark in the field of renewals and IP management. As for the prospective future, the company envisions continuing on its path to eminence; while in the pursuit of that, they wish to achieve more milestones along the journey