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BorgWarner Inc.

Case Study - Borg Warner
“Substantial cost savings with no impact on patent quality or extra burden on my team.”
BorgWarner, Inc.

Company: BorgWarner Inc.

BorgWarner Inc. (“BorgWarner”) is a U.S. based worldwide automotive industry components supplier with sales of $5.65 Billion USD and operating manufacturing and technical facilities in 57 locations in 19 countries, including North and South America, Europe, and Asia. The company is primarily known for its advanced powertrain technologies, such as turbochargers, dual-clutch transmission components, engine timing systems, and emissions products.

The Challenge

The US auto industry had been under tremendous pressure to reduce costs for over a decade. The BorgWarner in-house team had a mandate to reduce costs, but a lean in-house staff had little time for large cost savings projects. A solution was needed for prioritizing the reduction of outside legal costs without affecting patent quality and with no additional time burden.

Background

As one of the largest and most successful automotive parts manufacturers in the world, BorgWarner’s intellectual property strategy is at the heart of their success and could not be compromised. However, during a prolonged automotive downturn, BorgWarner needed to understand all aspects of the patent prosecution life cycle to increase efficiency and to gain the transparency needed to reduce costs. BorgWarner filed and prosecuted applications in multiple countries via a global web of long time agents and patent attorneys. An overburdened in-house team focused on IP strategies simply did not have the resources required to wade through the convoluted and nebulous descriptions of services provided by its international agents.

Solution

BorgWarner retained TIPS to provide a business analysis of its IP costs, including international filing. After reviewing a variety of recommendations offered by TIPS, BorgWarner quickly realized a streamlined approach could simplify its international filing process while providing much needed cost savings. In addition, TIPS has been providing ongoing monthly audits of IP invoices to make sure law firms and international agents are not billing high legal fees relative to the value of the services being provided. TIPS has also been providing a variety of simple to understand cost management reports, along with recommendations on efficiencies and best practices when cost savings opportunities are identified.

Outcome

ITIP’s implementation of TIPS and ProFile services provided BorgWarner with immediate visibility into its patent prosecution spend and, more importantly, a precipitous drop in filing & prosecution costs. ProFile has reliably managed all of BorgWarner's Paris Convention, PCT International & PCT National Phase filings for over four years now, filing well over a thousand applications and providing BorgWarner with highly specialized resources in a one-stop-shop, user friendly format. BorgWarner has enjoyed net savings of over $2,000,000 with ProFile alone. In addition, TIPS has provided BorgWarner with substantial additional savings, as well as the necessary ongoing resources to achieve true IP cost management for its large international patent portfolio.

References Available