This month we welcome new member and corporate sponsor Rhodes IP to the Tech Council community. We asked founder Chris Rhodes to tell us more about his organization and current trends in the legal world as it relates to business and technology.
Tech Council: Tell us a little about your company.
Rhodes IP: Rhodes IP PLC is an intellectual property (IP) law firm that offers all types of services related to procurement and enforcement of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and other intellectual property rights, including patent prosecution and patent litigation. We work with all sizes of entities from individual entrepreneurs to multi-national corporations and assist in protecting these companies’ IP rights in the US and abroad.
Tech Council: What do you see trending in your industry?
Rhodes IP: There is a substantial trend towards IP protection and enforcement in China, India and Mexico as these countries have become some of the largest manufacturing sites over the past few years.
In the US, the patent statutes are currently being redrafted by Congress. Should the new provisions take effect, there will be dramatic changes to patent law and procedure.
Tech Council: What is your specialty?
Rhodes IP: We are involved in all areas of IP procurement and enforcement, but we focus in large part on patent preparation and enforcement. Only attorneys and agents with scientific training and who have passed a separate, federal bar exam are permitted to prepare and file patent applications in the US. Having advanced graduate degrees or training in the sciences allows us to focus on all technical areas related to patent preparation and enforcement including materials science, small molecules, medical devices, biotechnology, business methods, computer technologies, mechanical devices and other technical areas.
Tech Council: How has your industry changed in the last year or two?
Rhodes IP: In-house IP budgets have been reduced greatly along with the budgets of all other internal, company departments. As such, companies are taking a closer look at which technologies are most likely to provide them with a competitive edge in the next few decades. Businesses are being forced to do more with less, and they are looking to service providers that can provide value commensurate with acceptable costs.
In addition, the downturn in the economy has forced an increase in entrepreneurship as many people have been downsized out of their former positions. Over the last six months, we have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of individuals starting their own technology based companies in the Region 2000 area and seeking to protect their IP as one of the company assets.
Tech Council: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Rhodes IP: Almost every company has intellectual property, but they do not realize it or protect it properly. Customer lists and internal business data are particularly important and often go unprotected entirely. For many companies (particularly early stage companies), IP may be their largest asset, and they can use IP as leverage for loans, venture funding or other business goals.
We are happy to provide intellectual property overview talks to Region 2000 companies at no charge. We also have a blog, www.theofficeaction.com, where we try and provide useful (and hopefully succinct) comments about IP cases and related subject matter.
For more information on Rhodes IP visit: www.RhodesIP.com