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Essential IP Law Practice TechnologyPractice Management Software and IP Docketing Software

Alt Legal Team | August 17, 2023
4 min read

Technology is an essential tool in any modern law practice. Technology is particularly important for IP practitioners to successfully manage their practice. Two key types of software that IP practitioners need to effectively run their practice include practice management software and IP docketing software. Practice management software and IP docketing software are separate tools that support your practice in different ways.

Many IP law firms and practitioners think that practice management software is all they need for their firms to function effectively. However, practice management software is generally designed as a one-size-fits-all tool for all practice areas and isn’t equipped to handle the nuances of an IP practice. It’s essential that IP law firms select appropriate practice management software and IP docketing software that fits their firm’s needs. This article will explain the difference between these tools and will provide tips to help you select the right software for your practice.

What is Practice Management Software?

Practice management software helps law firms handle their daily operations and administrative tasks more efficiently. It provides a centralized platform for organizing and streamlining day-to-day law firm administration, including case management, client communication, document management, time tracking, billing, and accounting.

The purpose of practice management software is to improve efficiency, enhance organization, and streamline administrative tasks, allowing law firms to focus more on delivering quality legal services to their clients. By creating a centralized workspace, it helps optimize workflow, increase productivity, and improve overall firm management.

What is IP or Trademark Docketing Software?

All legal professionals must keep track of important dates for filing and responding to various types of actions. Docketing these dates ensures efficient workflow, delegation of tasks, and time management. Legal professionals can use practice management software for docketing these types of dates, tasks, and time management.

IP or trademark docketing software is an essential tool for trademark lawyers to effectively manage upcoming filing deadlines, their workflow and time, and delegation of tasks. Because trademark filings have so many deadlines to track, it is important for trademark professionals to have a reliable docketing system to monitor deadlines. In fact, a proper, reliable system for managing your docket of trademarks is a must for many malpractice carriers.

For IP professionals, IP and trademark docketing is especially important because missing deadlines related to IP and trademark matters can result in expensive fees to recover actions. In a worst-case scenario, missing deadlines can result in abandonment of a trademark and ultimately, a loss of client rights. Read more about the true costs of missing IP and trademark deadlines here.

Why You Need Separate Software Tools

Practice management software and IP docketing software are distinct tools designed to support your practice in different ways. Both tools offer highly nuanced features that allow you to manage your practice. If you were to try to use IP docketing software to manage your practice, you would find that the software doesn’t have the right features. And conversely, practice management software is simply not designed to handle the many different IP-related deadlines pertaining to IP prosecution.

Practice management software does not have fields to enter IP-specific deadlines nor does it have the proper labels for IP filings. Additionally, practice management software does not automatically calculate IP-related deadlines and it does not connect to IP offices to collect data. Furthermore, the most technologically advanced IP docketing software includes many advanced features that are not included in practice management software including: customized docket reports, prepopulated emails to provide updates to clients, automated IP document storage, and read-only client docket access. These features are included in the most technologically advanced IP docketing software, like Alt Legal, and can significantly enhance your IP practice, saving you time and improving client relations.

Another way to think about the difference between practice management software and IP docketing software is that each software tool is equivalent to personnel on your team. Practice management software takes the role of an administrative assistant whereas IP docketing software handles tasks that an IP paralegal assists with. An administrative assistant and an IP paralegal have distinct responsibilities at the firm and handle very nuanced work. Of course, an administrative assistant can substitute in for an IP paralegal from time to time or manage matters in a calendar that are low risk or small from a volume standpoint, but this is not scalable. You wouldn’t typically have an administrative assistant act as a practice area-specific paralegal, so similarly, you wouldn’t want your practice management software acting as your IP docketing software.

How to Integrate Practice Management Software and IP Docketing Software

While practice management software and IP docketing software are different tools with distinct purposes, both help you to achieve the same goal of an organized, streamlined workflow. When you use both types of software together, you can handle your daily workflow with ease and maximum efficiency.

Some practice management software and IP docketing software tools are designed to integrate, for example, Alt Legal IP Docketing Software integrates seamlessly with Clio Practice Management Software, allowing you to sync accounts. By connecting your Alt Legal and Clio accounts, you can sync calendars, share contacts, and connect matters, minimizing the need for duplicate data entry and providing users with information when and where they need it. By connecting your practice management software and IP docketing software, you’re able to eliminate additional data entry and to easily find information no matter what platform you’re working in.

High-Tech Trademark Docketing Software Can Help You Effectively Manage Your Workflow

Having a sophisticated, high-tech trademark docketing system like Alt Legal IP Docketing Software can help you better manage your trademark docket and deadlines. Learn more about what features to look for in the best, most high-tech trademark docketing software.

If you have any questions about how to choose the best IP docketing software for your organization, our knowledgeable team is here to help. Reach out to us at Also, we would be pleased to offer you a free trial or demo of Alt Legal IP Docketing Software. To sign up, click here.

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