My INTA: Ten minutes with Alt Legal


My INTA: Ten minutes with Alt Legal

Devenorr /

In the first of several daily chats with attendees and exhibitors at the INTA annual conference, WIPR spoke to Nehal Madhani of Alt Legal about the changing face of the IP software industry and which IP offices are embracing modernisation.

What is your name and company?

My name is Nehal Madhani, I am a lawyer by trade, I used to work at Kirkland & Ellis but I left in 2013 and learnt computer programming and started building Alt Legal, which helps companies and law firms to create and manage intellectual property.

nehal.jpgHow many INTA conferences have you been to?

This is my third.

What’s been your favourite?

The San Diego conference (last year) has been my favourite so far. It’s a beautiful city, easy to get around and the weather was fantastic

Have you exhibited at every conference so far?

No, we have just exhibited at San Diego and this one.

What are the main benefits of exhibiting?

There are a handful. One is the ability to meet people who are walking around the exhibition hall. And second, it gives a point of contact to people already interested in a product, as they can come by and see it, go through a demo, etc.

Any there any other major benefits of being in the conference itself?

The opportunity to meet lots of like-minded professionals, peer companies, partners and attorneys.

Do you go to the sessions?

Unfortunately not, as we spend most of the time exhibiting and meeting people at events.

If you had the chance to go to sessions, would you find them useful?

I would. I remember in Hong Kong (two years ago), when we didn’t exhibit, and one of the sessions was an update from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on its technology innovations. Sessions like that are particularly interesting.

What are the major trends/developments in the IP world that are affecting your company?

There are some positive trends. More IP offices are investing in the infrastructure to make data electronically available … More and more offices that don’t have the same volume as the USPTO and European Union Intellectual Property Office are embracing electronic filings. One that has done really well is New Zealand, where you can programmatically send an application without visiting the IP office’s website. Through an API you can send the whole application without touching their website.

How different will the market be in five years’ time?

I think we’re going to see a trend towards modernisation around the IP software space. One is that IP filings will go more global, but you’ll also see more modernisation … The legal industry has been slower on that [front].

Why has the legal industry been slow to embrace change?

There has not been much of a need for innovation; more of a willingness to go along with status quo … Also, investment is really hard to come by in the legal technology space.

Are there any other thoughts you have about INTA?

On the exhibiting side it’s what you make of it … Generally, there is as much happening outside of INTA as inside.  

Are there any receptions on your radar?

One is Meet the Bloggers.

Does the media report IP well?

I would like to see the media embrace technology trends and highlight technology innovation more in this space.

Is there anything else to say about INTA?

I am excited about INTA and hopefully this will be our best conference yet!

Alt Legal, INTA,

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