Here’s a article on IP management software. It mentions several vendors including IPPO, whose ASP model I am currently trying out (and liking).  In the mid 90’s, up-front expenditures in hardware and software for a trademark management system could run into the tens of thousands (depending on number of seats, number of records, existing hardware set-up).  If these web-based ASP versions work, up-front expenditures could consist solely of training and data-entry.  As more and more records get digitized courtesy of national governments (see metasearch), data entry costs should fall as well.