We are relentlessly dedicated to bringing gold standard quality docketing, paralegal, and renewals services to the IP practice.
Black Hills IP was founded over ten years ago with a single-minded mission: to create gold-standard services for the IP practice. We knew that our competitors had invested heavily in services based on offshore manual labor. We wanted to improve and automate, when possible, the processes performed off-shore and provide world-class, top-quality services delivered from the U.S.
For the last decade, that has been our sole focus. During that time, we have developed ground-breaking automation technology that is unsurpassed in its capability and has no competition in its class. Our founders have reinvented IP before and have done it again.
Ten years ago, we had the vision to see that a large percentage of routine IP paralegal services could be automated. As a result, jobs lost to offshore providers relying on low-cost labor could be brought back to the U.S. We knew from our own experience running off-shore teams that off-shore labor was only about 1/2 to 2/3 as efficient as U.S. labor and needed a lot more supervision and management overhead.
We also know that many companies using offshore paralegal services such as docketing are not saving any money compared to more efficient U.S. operations, particularly considering the time lost communicating with people working on a completely different time schedule. So, we saw an opportunity to change the way things are done.
We knew we could use automation to multiply the productivity of our U.S. team and as a result beat the pricing of offshore labor, along with delivering a higher quality product. We also knew that our automation would be a huge game changer and it would take time to educate the market. (And so, we are glad you are here reading this.)
We want to make it clear that we are not against off-shoring and certainly we believe that off-shore teams are very capable within the limits of the human limitations that we all share. But we are also very certain that human-based docketing will never be able to achieve the results our automation has achieved – that is a certainty unless they can docket thousands of items in minutes without error. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place in the IP ecosystem. It’s just that it won’t be doing docketing or other IP tasks that can be automated.
We at Black Hills IP realize that we are about to undergo a sea-change in not only how IP services are performed, but also in how they are delivered and priced. When your docketing or paralegal team is a computer system, you can’t charge by the hour or by the person.
These services are computer algorithms that will be paid for and consumed as cloud services, much like computer resources are now sold by Amazon. That is why Black Hills IP has not only pioneered automation but also the pricing models needed to support these services.
The advantage of our models is there are no surprises – we have never raised a customer’s cost because we needed to add new team members to do the same level of work we promised to begin with, and in fact have not had a price increase in over ten years. This has only been possible by getting more and more automated.
But the bigger picture is that a great many jobs doing what we call “robotic work” are going to be replaced with automation over the next few years. This is not a possibility, it’s a certainty. We have now docketed over 3,000,000 items with our automation, and every day we add many thousands more to the total. A large percentage of the docketing we do every day is done fully automatically, meaning no human ever touches or views the item.
And the quality and accuracy is stunning. But this is to be expected when our automation can look at many more sources of data than a docketer can in order to make a docketing decision, and also can pull dates in from the source and avoid the most common error – transcription errors.
Moreover, because we recognize documents in their native language, our automation dockets off of foreign language documents, allowing us to bypass the uneven and inconsistent English translations that are provided by foreign patent agents. This allows our foreign docketing to achieve a level of particularity and accuracy that our competitors could only dream of. So, we can see the future now. Can you?