Prunes can be good for you, whether of patents, subsidiaries, law firms, contracts

Yes, a pit tongue in cheek as there came to mind an image of law departments cutting down the overgrowth of costly patents, and law departments – like St. George slaying the dragon – eliminating shell corporate entities that sap money but add no value. The image shifted to law departments slashing the number of law firms they use and others that reduce the number of their standard contracts, a form of pruning. Less is more.

Each of these pruning operations aims to save company funds and to improve the effectiveness of a function: intellectual property, corporate secretarial, or the legal department, respectively (See my post of Nov. 13, 2005: Dow Chemical abandoned patents; Feb. 4, 2008: cost per entity maintained; Sept. 19, 2008: control by general counsel over newly-created corporate entities; Oct. 24, 2008: database to get control over corporate shells; Feb. 19, 2010: Orrick Herrington and Cisco’s entities; Dec. 3, 2010: Financial Times honorees and convergence of law firms; and Aug. 17, 2010: Microsoft simplifies its contract portfolio.).

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