We are an IP docketing & paralegal
service provider
We are faster, more accurate, and more cost-effective than in house departments and off-shore providers.
We do your work in the U.S.

Because we do your work in the US, there are no export control issues. You can feel secure in the confidentiality of your information knowing that it all stays onshore.  Less red tape means you save time and money.

We are IP Experts

You will benefit from our exclusive focus on Intellectual Property. Our managers and trainers have an average of 20 years of IP experience and several are registered patent attorneys. All of our staff go through a rigorous training program and have paralegal certificates or other degrees.

Our Elite Team

The team that formed Intellevate, the company that pioneered outsourcing legal support services to India, and FoundationIP, one of the nation’s leading IP management software solutions.

Ann McCrackin

President of BHIP
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Ann McCrackin is Black Hills IP’s President as well as a patent prosecution process expert and a highly accomplished patent attorney with extensive experience in both U.S. and international patent prosecution.  Before becoming President of Black Hills IP Ann was a Professor of Law and the Director of the nationally recognized Patent Prosecution and Procedure Program at Franklin Pierce Law Center (now the University of New Hampshire School of Law).  At Franklin Pierce, Ann directed the program and taught courses in advanced aspects of practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  Ann has also taught dozens of continuing legal education courses and seminars on various aspects of patent process and prosecution and has edited and authored a number of legal texts on patent law.  Ann is also attorney of record for several Amicus Briefs filed in patent cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Ann was a Shareholder at the Minneapolis patent firm Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A. for eight years and now is of counsel at the firm.  Ann has an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and a law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center.

Jim Brophy

Vice President of Sales
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James (Jim) P. Brophy II has over twenty-five years of intellectual property experience, and was instrumental in introducing the first successful web-based IP management system to the intellectual property industry. He also was instrumental in the early growth of the IP outsourcing industry at his prior company. Over the last ten years, Jim’s experience in the IP management and outsourcing business has given him a strong understanding of the patent and trademark process as well as the current needs of the industry. Jim’s outstanding abilities and reputation for honesty have been rewarded by his customers.

Tom Marlow

President of BHIP Renewals
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Thomas (Tom) Marlow manages operations and technology development for Black hills IP while also heading up Black Hills IP Renewals, our patent annuities management company.  Tom is a registered patent attorney and electrical engineer with a passion for IP systems.  Previously, Tom ran the IP department for a multi-billion dollar semiconductor manufacturing company where he oversaw worldwide IP strategy, enforcement, and procurement.  Tom taps his in-house and prior private practice experience to develop and deliver products and services that address known pain-points in the patent process.  Tom has spoken before diverse audiences from patent attorneys, to C-suite executives to engineers to startup founders on patent management, analysis, and strategy over the years.  Tom also has experience prosecuting and managing patent prosecution on a global scale and is the co-author of the Lexis published “US Patent Prosecutor’s Desk Reference”.  Tom was previously co-chair of the patent analytics and portfolio management department at the Minneapolis patent firm Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A.  He received his law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center, and Bachelors of Science from the University of Notre Dame.

Jaclyn Sprtel

Patent Analytics Specialist
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Jaclyn (Jacie) Sprtel is a Patent Analytics Specialist of Black Hills IP.  While she is a registered patent attorney, her current role encompasses product development, consulting and analytics for Black Hills IP clients. She enjoys the challenges around data consistency and integrity within various IP online systems.  Prior to joining the team, Jaclyn was intellectual property counsel for Thomson Reuters for 4 ½ years in addition to 2 ½ years consulting for them. Jacie has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. She continues to expand her knowledge of intellectual property in her additional role as an Operations Manager for Black Hills IP sister company, Black Hills IP Renewals.  These various opportunities within her career give her a unique perspective in the intellectual property field.