Sunday 3 February 2008

IP Insight: a useful tool?

The UKIPO's monthly e-magazine IP Insight (the January 2008 issue can be inspected here) isn't going to tell practitioners a lot that they don't already know -- but it has its uses. No sole practitioner has enough time to prepare his/her own newsletter, but much of the content of the UKIPO's one is aimed at the interested layman, a class of person that most clients should belong to. So why not email the link to IP Insight to your clients, adding a personal note or two of your own? That way, you keep in touch with them and quite likely give them the sort of basic background information, on a regular basis, that might otherwise take a lengthy phone call (or worse, a letter).


  1. You assume the target market for the SOLO is the small business that is the target of the UKIPO newsletter. Their newsletter is excellent but I suspect they aren't using a huge amount of resources to distribute it.
    Their articles are also written by practitioners too - some quite big.

  2. It's not an assumption, it's a statement of probability. The correlation between size of client and size of practitioner is not governed by rigid proportionality, but it works well as a rule of thumb. Very few small businesses instruct magic circle law firms and very few Fortune 100 corporations instruct small/sole practitioners -- though each will occur from time to time.

    By the way, many articles written by big practitioners are actually drafted by junior colleagues or trainees, then tickled up by editors. I'm sure the UKIPO gets the last word, whoever originally pens the published prose.

  3. Sending an email newsletter, for the solo, is I think one of the more preferable routes for staying 'top of mind' with clients. Physical mailouts take time and cost money. Email newsletters take less time and cost far less.

    I'd save mail for other ways of communicating with (current and former) clients, such as postcards or cards based around a holiday.

    Also, the post sounds slightly like you may be assuming that because you are a solo IP person, that you are the only one in your office, or that you can't hire anyone on contract. Farming out newsletter creation is a perfect job for an assistant or paying a PhD or LLB student to do (with your final approval of course). Paying the money to have someone else do it may of course save you money as you can get back to billing hours.