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CPA Global tell their customers "don't panic"

Here's an interesting story CPA Global (best know in the law firms world for its LPO/legal process outsourcing services) issues yesterday. While it primarily relates to other services, over and beyond conventional legal process outsourcing (and, it should be noted, does not involve either CPA Global or its customers) it does raise the risk-related issue of what can happen when your outsourcer becomes the subject of litigation that could place in jeopardy the services you have outsourced to them? And, it also echoes another concern associated with Cloud-based services, namely what happens to your data if the SaaS operator's servers are seized/closed down for legal reasons.

The interesting dimension here is that WhitServe is not only taking legal action against the service providers who are alleged to have infringed their patents but also against their customers. In a worse-case scenario presumably you could not only lose your data but also suffer the added indignity of being sued for the privilege?

Open Letter to Clients – July 2010

Dear Valued Client,

WhitServe patent infringement suits
In the wake of increasing publicity and market comment about the patent infringement law suits that have been filed by WhitServe LLC against another IP management services provider and several of their clients, I am writing to reassure you that there is no danger of your organisation becoming involved in similar legal action with regard to your use of CPA Global's products and services.

CPA Global has held a worldwide licence covering all WhitServe's relevant patents since August 2006.

As you may have read, on 25 May 2010, WhitServe, which owns several patents relating to the delivery of professional services over the internet, was awarded more than US$8 million in damages to be paid by the IP services provider in question. On 18 June 2010, WhitServe filed a similar suit for patent infringement against a number of that provider's clients.

WhitServe is seeking an injunction against those clients, as well as damages for losses suffered due to the alleged infringement of WhitServe's patent rights. WhitServe has stated its intention to pursue more of the provider's clients.

At CPA Global, we take risk management very seriously and value the trust that our clients place in us. In order to ensure our ability to protect your IP assets, we acquired a worldwide licence for the WhitServe patents. Therefore, you need not be concerned about: our ability to continue performing IP renewal services for you; the cost of defending yourself against a lawsuit for infringement; or the threat of financial penalties resulting from such a law suit.

Kind regards,

Peter Sewell
Chief Executive Officer

CPA Global