The immense growth of the industry is obvious: in 2021, the market was valued at $18.4 billion. Apparently, it will continue its growth in the coming years. This will happen largely because the amount of information exchanged online keeps growing, thus, raising the issues of intellectual property (IP) protection along the way.
With the active usage of computer-aided design (CAD) software and introduction of metaverses, the IP discussion becomes a hot topic. Most businesses don’t make their product right on-site; they send CAD files to a manufacturer on the other side of the planet to do so. Globalization stresses traditional concepts of copyright and IP, and technological advancements are here to help lawyers wiggle out of it.
Bringing digitization and IP law together
blockchain to make legal services more efficient and affordable. To put it simply, the goal of legal tech is to automate and enhance the work of lawyers and make the life of clients easier.
For example, AI enables professionals to simplify complex processes, especially those with a large amount of information. AI significantly reduces the impact of human error, which is labeled as a primary cause of IP infringement.
With machine learning algorithms, data analysis becomes easier. Legal AI tools can search through historical data to compare the new IP patent to similar ones checking for infringements. The same may be done by lawyers when building a case for or against a patent.
Some legal tech services have already become part of our lives, like systems helping to track documents, gather information, as well as various tools for monitoring cases. Many governments around the world use e-filing software to streamline the process of submitting documents and reduce paperwork.
Also, there are properly programmed legal chatbots on the market that serve as virtual assistants allowing clients to get quick answers, without waiting for a lawyer to address their questions.
CAD protection with legal tech
CAD files are the most important commodity of a design business, and protecting them is the number one priority.
Obtaining a patent or a trademark is usually the most secure way to protect IP. However, this process is very long, expensive, and tedious. Also, whenever your company introduces a new design to the world, there is a chance that it will be copied. Sending CAD files via the internet is easy, but risky. Blockchain is the legal tech solution that can help mitigate those risks.
The technology is a chain of data blocks linked together by hash. This means that it is impossible to change any block, without jeopardizing the whole chain. And as each block “remembers” the information about the previous one, including the creation time, it makes tracking easy.
You will always know who and when interacted with the chain. As the creation of the original block is also timestamped, you will have it as a proof of creation that may be used in a court of law.
Another solution is smart contracts, blockchain-based legal programs that automatically execute orders like issuing a payment when certain conditions are met. They help automate contracting, like signing NDAs or licensing agreements.
Usually, designing smart contracts requires a team of programmers working together with lawyers to function. But there also are Ricardian smart contracts that are legally binding and comfortable to use by non-lawyers and non-coders.
Our solution BORIS uses blockchain and smart contracts to protect CAD files. It digitally signs the files with your ID, preventing the loss of IP. The decentralized nature of blockchain makes it tamper-resistant and the digital signature confirms your ownership, should any dispute arise. Try our product Solid Boris for SolidWorks to protect CAD data.
Legal tech challenges
The main challenge legal tech solutions face mostly relates to the law. Legal regulations tend to change, and adapting tools may be costly. This is especially true for blockchain, as its immutable nature plays against users on this one, making it very hard to modify conditions of a contract. Another issue is that many companies do business across borders, which creates additional challenges, due to the differences in legal systems.
Legal tech will revolutionize the law industry, and the changes have already begun. The more portions of the legal profession are automated, the faster the process will go. The monopoly law firms have on legal information will shift, and the general public will take legal matters into its own hands.