One particular concern that must be addressed with outsourcing is that any information sent abroad must comply with U.S. Export laws and violating these can result in unenforceability of the patent, denial of future export licenses, fines and even imprisonment. One would need to comply with the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations in addition to the U.S. Department of Commerce restrictions on certain exports to certain countries through the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). Regulated items include software encryption technology (classified as munitions), certain lasers, computers, and nuclear technology related items.
I'm so thrilled when I find anything export compliance-related on a blog that I'm even willing to overlook Stephen's repetition of the "crypto is a munition" meme, the inaccuracy of which is a bit of a hobby horse of mine. But my favorite part of his post is this:
What we've found is that similar or better cost savings can be achieved by outsourcing patent work not offshore but away from the high-priced coasts. We work with many companies that have found the same work can be performed in the Midwest (we're in Cincinnati) -- but at far lower billing rates. When I had some work done at a Boston firm a few years ago, I was shocked to discover that a third-year associate was billing at a higher rate than our top partners. And he wasn't even knowledgeable!
Outsourcing to the Midwest may just be the answer to your needs.
That goes double for trade consultants. Who needs Calcutta when you could go with Cleveland? Really, I couldn't of said it better myself.