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Ratios of legal spend to the ongoing costs of two kinds of software that track it

I wonder about the ratio of spend on software for matter management to spend on external counsel. Call that MMS-spend-to-total legal spend, such as $100,000 per year for the software and $10 million on average paid outside vendors, a ratio of 0.1 percent.

Similarly, what is the ratio between what law departments pay for maintenance and upkeep of intellectual property databases (See my post of Jan. 23, 2011: metapost on patent software.) and what they pay for annual IP expenditures of patent preparation and prosecution, annuities, patent agents and filing fees? Call that IP-database-to-IP spend.

Commonly, maintenance for such specialized software runs 15-18 percent of the initial license fee. Costs of customization, training, report creation, upgrades, and other expenses of the software add some more, but for both matter management and IP management the ongoing costs should be but a fraction of the actual expenses tracked. Nowhere have I seen any data on either of the ratios.

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