Is AI powered IP closer than we thought?

When interviewed by World Trademark Review in 2018, I predicted “No imminent AI apocalypse” and “for anything beyond the most simple, objective trademark-related tasks, he sees little hope that AI could replace an attorney”. Now I’m not so sure.  There’s no sign of an apocalypse, but there are clear signs AI is evolving faster than expected. Take the recent announcements from Open AI. Their Dall-E2 model produces astonishing, original images based only on text instructions. Like the image below in response to the instruction ‘An astronaut riding a horse in a photorealistic style’. This acceleration is the opposite of what many of us expected. Instead we thought progress would slow, as boundaries within existing hardware and chip design were reached. Greg Brockman, co-founder of Open AI explained that the stunning improvements come from  the newer model even though it ‘is much smaller & the amount of training compute is similar. Improvements are essentially all due to algorithmic

IP software and intensity of use

Some firms think that licensing IP software means they have the software and innovation boxes ticked. Not so. What matters is how much the software is used, by how many, and how fully. If the answer is 'not much', it's the wrong solution. With the right one there's plenty of scope to do things more easily, efficiently, and better for clients.  The term 'IP software' covers a wide range of tools and capabilities. Some older systems are stand alone clunky docketing databases. Others run only automated clearance searches. And others, unlike these point solutions, are platforms with a depth and breadth of capabilities. Old clunky docketing databases are a single point solution for tracking deadlines of registered marks and designs. So are often only used by one or two formalities administrators. The intensity of use of this IP software is low when considered against a whole IP team with lawyers and attorneys, as well as clients, associates, and other IP team members

Big law and the strategic importance of trademark work

Some international law firms now view trademark work as having strategic importance. We consider why, and the implications for those who compete against them. ------------- Trademarks have long been considered a steady specialism within law firms. Registration volumes generally follow trends in economic growth, and the registry processes and matters for obtaining, maintaining and defending IP rights have changed little over time. So not where the action is. So why do some now consider trademark work to be of strategic importance to their firm? Competition The number and size of law firms is increasing, and so is competition to be on panels and to see RFPs. This is putting downward pricing pressure on some types of routine work, such as IP portfolio management and maintenance of rights. But rather than making trademark work less attractive, some firms see trademarks as an area of growing importance for winning new work and differentiating their service offerings. Client acquisition and

‘Crazy New Ideas’ in legal innovation

  ‘ Crazy New Ideas ’ is a recent essay by Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator. An accelerator that has backed crazy idea startups that include AIRBNB; letting strangers stay in your home on air mattresses. Unconventional solutions such as STRIPE; 2 lads from Ireland who have revolutionised taking card payments online with an enterprise value close to US$100 bn. And others covering nuclear fusion, biotech, crypto and a privately developed supersonic passenger aircraft. Reading this essay helped framed an idea I’d been mulling: There will never be Crazy New Ideas in legal innovation! And what’s interesting is why we can be confident of this. By innovation I don’t mean adoption of new technology for automation of existing processes for incremental gain. But truly transformative innovation that leads to wholly new processes or outputs. For the simple reason that law is a domain that is tightly constrained by statute and regulation. Certainly there will be improvements in speed and effici

The UKIPO gets it! Digitisation, APIs Transformation to be best in the world

LawPanel were thrilled to be told that as part of the UKIPOs ambitious transformation and digitisation, their services would be accessible by API. So enabling direct, secure transfer of information from LawPanel to the UKIPO.  Removing any need for paper, online forms or other friction in the process that adds time, cost and risk of error. Instead workflows on LawPanel for new filings for trademarks, designs and patents, or renewals, change of representative, or IP owner will have the data submitted to the UKIPO instantly at the click of an icon. No copying and pasting into multi page forms for saving as pdfs and sending by email or post. The news came today from the UKIPOs Andy Bartlett, who’s leading ground up transformation of all UKIPO services and solutions, a far reaching programme that has begun and will run until 2026. With the explicit aim of making the UKIPO the best, most advanced IPO in the world.

Beyond docketing

  Many firms and in-house counsel think of ‘IP software’ and ‘docketing database’ as interchangeable terms. Which is understandable as software tools for IP have only ever kept track of registry deadlines. With some add ons to assist with filing and checking local records in the docketing database against official ones at the registry. With Covid we’re seeing expectations change significantly. Firms of all sizes want better tools that do more. Not just to support work from home, but to reduce work and improve client service. For the full lifecycle of an IP right.  From on platform automated clearance searches for trademarks. Online forms for instructing searches and client areas to see results. Through automatic tracking of application status, built in watching and client tools for monitoring and reporting. And so much more. All of which reduce cognitive load and time, and improve client and user experience. Contact us now for a test drive.

New WordPress plugin for online internationtrademark services

  During 2020 we’ve been working on a lot of new trademark functionality, covering search, filing, watching, and record management. With a lot of interest from firms wanting to offer trademark services online, particularly filing and fee quotations. As well as adding this functionality to a site using LawPanel’s APIs we have an even easier and quicker integration for WordPress sites using our new plugin. See it in action on  Trade Mark Direct Network  a new service focussed on easy international filings in any country, but with a particular focus on the EU, UK (now requiring separate registration after Brexit), USA and Canada, Australia and key European countries, with more to follow including online WIPO fee and ordering. This will be the first online calculator fo giving fee estimates for advice and search fees, as well as official fees.