Human Expertise and Machines Working In Perfect Harmony

Lisa Wright,

Robots taking over the world and super computers replacing the human brain? Artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, and machine learning have consistently made headlines since the advent of the Internet in the late 1960s.

Most of us love a good science fiction plot and the media has been quick to respond. The Hollywood movie Terminator (1984), featured Arnold Schwarzenegger as a murderous cyborg sent back in time from a post-apocalyptic 2029, to alter the future and ensure the machine army’s victory over humanity. And more recently we got another snapshot into the future of artificial intelligence and robotics in the movie Ex Machina (2014) starring Alicia Vikander as an ethereal AI humanoid. Today the rise of AI continues to enthrall the masses and the media can still be quick to capitalize on primal fear and basic misunderstandings.

Being able to cut through the AI hype and sensationalism and separate fact from fiction can be both rewarding and empowering. In fact, understanding the fundamentals of what AI is and what it can do, can enable your business to take full advantage of this technology, save resources, and stay ahead of your competition. Perhaps the most important thing though is understanding how AI and human expertise can work together, as they do in many successful trademark teams to optimize the clearance and protection of trademarks.

What is artificial intelligence?

After breaking Enigma, the Nazi encryption machine which helped the Allied Forces win the Second World War, mathematician Alan Turing reshaped history again in 1950 by posing the question,"Can machines think?" AI is a branch of computer science that strives to answer Turing’s question in the affirmative. The technology and its tools mimic human decisions by reasoning through data, using experience-based knowledge AI models.

In the 1950s, data became much more accessible to all IP professionals when the standardization of legal forms and the digitization of records began. With the development of computing power in subsequent decades, a layer of AI was added to this base, and AI-enabled data systems are now widely used to speed up and assist with legal research and risk analysis. In the most recent developments,TrademarkNow’s AI technology has gone further and reframed trademark operations as they are applied to clearance and management tools. These are now routinely utilized by trademark teams today to great effect.

If you want to learn more about this, please watch this video of Head of Product at TrademarkNow, Charles Hill. In it, taken from INTA’s Annual Meeting in Boston last year, Charles discusses the future of AI in trademark law.

Watch video

The various uses of preliminary trademark screening

When combined with human ingenuity and creativity, AI technologies now add a great deal to the daily activities of businesses and IP professionals.

Just over a third of TrademarkNow’s corporate clients use our AI-enabled instant screening tool, ExaMatch, not just for trademark screening, but as a tool to collaborate with multi-disciplinary team members.

28% share direct use of our platform specifically with ‘non-legal’ marketing and creative teams who use it for brainstorming and initial screening "knockout" searches designed to weed out weaker brand candidates early (and inexpensively) in the clearance process.

Similarly, the legal teams themselves often benefit from this enhanced partnership in several ways. One of our corporate clients, Nico Zimmerman, legal counsel for Dorel Industries, Inc (a leading global consumer products company) told us:

“TrademarkNow significantly improved our legal team’s business partnering with our global marketing teams, allowing us to respond to their requests quicker and with a more informed risk analysis, on a broader range of marks and jurisdictions than the cost constraints of our prior process allowed for.”

Through this kind of collaboration, clashes between marketing and legal departments over what is considered to be a good brand name are decreased, as is the risk of expensive, time-consuming ‘do-overs’ — when a marketing and sales strategy is built, but the trademark is later found to be unusable for particular territories.

Trademark clearance

NameCheck, our clearance search tool, is also utilized by marketers to gain insight into one central aspect of the legal ‘likelihood of confusion’ risk attached to a trademark name candidate — that of linguistic and product similarity. Our displays are easy for marketing teams to read, even if they are from a ‘non-legal’ background, and reports can be customized, downloaded, and shared between teams. Strong candidates are then passed on to expert attorneys (either in-house or outside counsel) who might then turn to human expertise to help them to run a full legal risk analysis and comprehensive trademark clearance.

Data-dissolving do-overs

Using data to challenge assumptions and inform trademark decisions can help legal and marketing teams to better agree on a harmonized plan for delivering client and business goals. This collaboration between human expertise and data means that there are less likely to be challenges as any new trademark application moves towards registration.

By pairing advanced technology with experience, marketing teams can make better educated choices about the potential brand names that they put forward to legal for comprehensive, expert, risk analysis and clearance. This minimizes the risk of do-overs and saves the business both time and money.

Human expertise and machines working together in perfect harmony makes trademark professionals’ lives easier.

Talk to an expert and find out how our unique combination of  human expertise and AI can transform your trademark tasks today!