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Black Hills IP Surpasses Three Million Automated Docketing Transactions

the nation’s leading provider of fully automated docketing services for intellectual property attorneys, announced it has surpassed processing more than three million docketing transactions.

More than one third of this activity occurred in 2024 and demand continues to grow: BHIP’s technology is now processing an average of 40,000 docketing transactions every month, with half of them fully automated and requiring no human assistance.

“This is a major milestone, demonstrating the marketplace is beginning to understand the powerful financial and time savings one can obtain by using our technology,” says BHIP CEO Russell Slifer.

Hundreds of IP law firms have used BHIP technology as it accurately makes thousands of docketing decisions within seconds and works seamlessly with patent offices in the Unites States, China and dozens of other countries.

“It’s incredibly accurate and reliable,” says William Wood, director of IP Administration for leading IP law firm Harness Dickey. “The efficiency of the process has saved our firm countless hours of manual docketing time and enabled us to docket U.S. patent information in short time frames.”

Other automated docketing systems merely download documents from a patent office and perform simple actions, which still require human interaction to complete. “Our technology reads and understands incoming patent office documents, which allows us to determine how to update a docketing system without human assistance,” says Ann McCrackin, BHIP’s president and chief business development officer.

“What the competition offers compared with BHIP’s technology is the equivalent of power windows and cruise control versus fully autonomous driving,” says Steven Lundberg, principal and co-founder of Minneapolis-based Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, one of the country’s largest IP law firms. Lundberg says his law firm has switched all of its docketing over to BHIP and in so doing, has saved more than $1 million.

“We estimate it would require eight docketing specialists to handle the workload that Black Hills IP is now processing for us,” Lundberg says. “BHIP has not raised its price for docketing services in more than seven years, while wages have risen almost every year and health care and benefit costs have risen sharply. We know we are cost competitive with human labor at BHIP’s full price, and as volume grows, the price comes down as the fixed overhead is spread across more processed files.” He adds BHIP fully autonomous docketing requires no training and never take a day off.

Meanwhile, using BHIP allowed Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner to free up those previously working on low-skill level docketing tasks to now work on higher-valued initiatives.

A growing number of corporations active in the IP arena also are now using BHIP’s services, including Starkey Labs. “BHIP’s docketing automation empowered Starkey’s IP team to enhance personal service for internal clients, expand cross-functional collaboration and more actively manage the Starkey patent and trademark portfolio,” says the firm’s Managing IP Counsel, Jim Cook.


BHIP’s fully autonomous docketing also delivers the benefit of having fewer errors in the docketing process. Some 80 percent of such mistakes are due to human errors, which can be expensive.


For example, in 2006, the IP law firm Fish & Neave was ordered to pay $30 million for legal malpractice after failing to file a foreign patent application. The same firm was sued eight years later by another former client claiming it lost $2 billion in potential sales because of a docketing mistake it made. Elsewhere, FisherBroyles and a contractor it retained to help docket patents were sued last September for allegedly missing a deadline for a full year, costing a client millions of dollars in disallowed patents pending.

No docketing process is 100 percent accurate 100 percent of the time. The few times a discrepancy shows up with BHIP, an expert completes the process. The technology’s artificial intelligence learns along the way to ensure that type of error does not happen again—not just for this client, but for anyone using BHIP’s fully autonomous docketing technology.


“Having processed millions of these documents, we’ve seen a thing or two,” says BHIP’s Slifer. And it shows when it comes to how well BHIP technology catches potential mistakes before they can occur.

Zaraki Kenpachi