Over the past several years, we’ve seen a significant focus on improving currency cost controls for patent annuities and trademark renewals but comparatively less on other IP costs, like applications. This week, we dig into strategies for controlling some of these other currency costs.
Currency Control Strategies
Maintenance costs are a substantial portion of the budget, making them a natural focus for cost controls, but for IP owners with international applications, there are likely additional savings that can be realized simply by doing some quick checks on your invoices. This week, we’ll share our number one tip for controlling international application currency costs. The best part is that you can do this yourself – you don’t have to buy anything or pay anyone!
Application Currency Control: The Easy Way
One of the challenges with controlling currency costs on applications is that it is complicated. You need to find claims fees, fees for pages, currencies, and so on. If you want the most comprehensive currency controls, this is the best way, but it isn’t practical unless you use an IP invoice control service. The good news is that there are invoice clues that will quickly tell you whether you are paying too much in currency for your international applications.
What to look for
To get started, locate a charge for an international application fee in a country with claims and/or page fees (try India) and look at how your associate is billing you rather than how much they are billing you. If they are charging you a fee in USD or EUR per claim or page and adding that to the application fee, you are paying too much in currency costs. If you don’t have a lot of pages or claims, the extra currency cost will be minimal, and if you have a lot, it will be a lot, but make no mistake, if you are invoiced in your currency per claim or page, you are paying too much. Why, you ask?
We’ll spare you all the math, but the basic explanation is that getting charged per claim or page (or priority or sequence listing) in your currency introduces a currency cost that is hardly noticeable at the single page or claim level – but adds up dramatically when you have hundreds of pages of an application or dozens of claims. This always turns out to be 20 to 30% more expensive than the optimum approach of a single currency conversion on the total fee.
With budgets tighter than ever, every potential saving can have a meaningful impact on the bottom line. With invoice control of maintenance costs becoming commonplace, it’s time to start exploring other savings opportunities – it might be worth looking at some of those application costs!