Software Usability and Legal Informatics;

At TrademarkNow, we like research. The core of our trademark analysis system is based on over ten years of original research into that particular domain. But we also use research more broadly in our work, for example to develop the algorithms that translate the domain models from prototype to practice.  We also do in-house original research, especially on topicson which we could really use some but can't find any.

One such topic we consider particularly important is human-computer interaction (HCI), and here the field of legal technology stands in a stark contrast to, for example, medical information systems in the amount of research carried out so far. HCI will be one of our research foci for quite some time, ranging from practical questions of software usability to more theoretical questions such as the distinction between machine intelligence and natural intelligence, with methodologies ranging from armchair to quantitative.

Still, one has to start somewhere, and so as my first work in this field I will be presenting a paper titled Software Usability and Legal Informatics on Nov 27 at the 7th KnowRight conference in Helsinki, of all places.

Here is the abstract:


This paper examines software usability from two different perspectives within legal informatics. Firstly, the current state of legal regulation of usability of medical systems is explored briefly. Secondly, different levels of usability in legal information systems are examined through two examples of trademark databases based on a high-usability represented model (Onomatics Quick Search) and the more traditional implementation model (USPTO TESS) with poor usability.

A draft version of the full paper is also available at SSRN.

[Update: presentation now available here as well.]

(Of course I am personally doing research on legal technology issues not in any way directly related to Onomatics, but I write about that on Legal Futurology rather than here. Like most recently this one...)

by Anna Ronkainen.