Effective Data Management for Trademark Attorneys


Effective Data Management for Trademark Attorneys

New technologies combined with effective business strategies can help lawyers make the most of their data, as Rory O’Neill finds out.

The transformative potential of rapidly-developing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to alter the data management landscape was the subject of debate at yesterday’s Session CSA23 Beyond the Trademark Portfolio: 360° Data Management.

Moderator Chris Kenneally, Director, Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (USA), framed the discussion in the context of the rapid growth of data in recent years. “Of the world’s vast collection of data, 90 percent came into existence in just the last two years,” Mr. Kenneally said.

According to Sandra Mau, Vice President at Compumark (USA): “All that technology can really do is try to fuse as much data as possible – to be more of a tool to help users make decisions rather than making their decisions for them.”

Ms. Mau, founder of TrademarkVision, which was acquired by Compumark last year, observed that AI technology (such as that which underpins her company’s products) has already made a radical impact on data management in intellectual property (IP), particularly with respect to trademark analysis.

When Ms. Mau first joined the IP industry, it seemed that “trademark attorneys traditionally thought about their portfolio as just word marks, which were traditionally 90 percent of the work that they did.”

Now, however, “forty percent of trademarks registered globally contain images,” she said, as AI-powered trademark search engines have made it far easier to process different kinds of marks.

How AI is deployed, however, is crucial in determining whether it is a help or a hindrance. This was the view of Christopher Chaudoir, Senior Counsel at Chevron Corporation (USA), who argued that “unless [the technology] is seamless, and unless it’s really easy to use, everyone will fall back” to using what they know.

However, Mr. Chaudoir is keen to embrace technology and its advantages in managing large amounts of data such as sizeable trademark portfolios. Chevron, he said, owns 14,000 trademark registrations in 187 countries, but still relies on a “hybrid system” largely dependent on email communications.  

“We’re in a transition at the moment to develop systems that will allow us to manage all of this data in a more uniform and more customized manner that doesn’t involve simply emailing back and forth,” Mr. Chaudoir said.

Babis Marmanis, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (USA), stressed the importance of utilizing technology as part of an “overarching strategy” for managing data and workflow in order to fully realize its potential.

“You can always achieve tactical wins by applying this technology or that technology to a specific function,” Mr. Marmanis said. More important, is how to go about “integrating all of that in a way that respects all business processes and makes the system work effectively and more efficiently,” he suggested.

Ultimately, Mr. Marmanis said, there is no “single blueprint” when it comes to determining how much of a driving role technology should play in data management and problem solving.

“The solution for your organization is unique to your organization,” he said.

INTA, data management, Compumark, TrademarkVision, Chevron, Copyright Clearing Center, Babis Marmanis, Christopher Chaudoir, portfolio