Artificial intelligence is a popular topic at the moment. From Elon Musk warning of the dangers of robots to the first computer able to beat a champion at board game Go, it’s clear that things are advancing, and doing so quickly. Opinions differ on the likely eventual outcomes of the development of AI, but what is certain is that it will have huge implications for the world of intellectual property, and specifically for those tasks which require less human judgement to be performed.
Consider trademark renewals. The only element of a trademark renewal that requires real judgement is the decision about whether to renew or not. And yet that decision represents a very small percentage of the work that goes into a renewal. Currently, humans need to be involved not only in deciding whether to renew, but in gathering the information to inform that decision, in presenting it on time, in liaising with human agents to action the renewal, and in processing the renewal itself with the relevant IP office.
None of these other tasks is especially difficult, but all of them take time, resources and money to action.
What if there was another way? A process that wouldn’t make the human element obsolete, but which would allow the humans involved in the process to be focusing their energies on the areas where their skills and judgement are useful.
Brandstock is developing such a service, using cutting-edge AI to enhance its trademark renewals services, and ultimately to change the way in which the industry deals with renewals.
Ultimately, the aim is to have trademark renewals completely managed by a machine. This machine will recognize automatically if it makes sense to renew a mark in a specific country and class based on the portfolio available. The machine will be able to pay official fees and scan all the relevant documents. It will send a notification when everything has been executed.
External counsel will still have a role to play, of course, since it remains important that the machine is making decisions in line with the business strategy, and a purely economic calculation may not be the only criterion for that judgment.
The machine will make its calculations based on the number of brands in a particular country and taking account of the turnover of the company in that country. With this information, coupled with information from the company’s business plan, the machine will automatically calculate if it makes sense to go ahead with the trademark renewal or not.
Effectively, that leaves the head of IP in a company, or the relevant decision maker, with just a single question to answer: based on this information, would you like to renew?
This saves a huge amount of time, and also ensures that the only point at which counsel is involved is at the point they can be most useful.
Of course, there is no point in enabling this efficient process if it is difficult for counsel to interact with it effectively. So with that in mind, Brandstock is designing the process so that external counsel will have a specific form which is compatible with the machine to submit all relevant information to inform the decision, whether that be business plans, existing documentation related to the trademark, or any other data.
And of course, all of this information will then be stored in a consistent format and archived, removing the need for paper and ensuring that it is all easy to access in time for the new expiration or renewal date.
Much of this technology is already available. Brandstock uses machines to process large parts of the renewals pipeline already, so you can take advantage of these increased efficiencies right now. And as the technology advances, it promises not only to make your trademark renewals easier, but also to make them more cost-effective, more accurate and less of a headache for you!