Leveraging Data and Technology in the Legal Industry

welocalize January 16, 2020

Data volumes continue to grow at exponential rates, and big data is an issue across almost every legal function. How much data is generated in a day – and what could this look like as we enter an even more data-driven future? Every day, more than 500 million tweets are posted and the Radicati Group estimates 295 billion emails are sent.

According to IDC, by 2025, it’s estimated that 463 exabytes of data will be created each day globally.

This continued surge of data compels the legal industry to examine ways to leverage data and technology to streamline legal tasks and create more efficient and intelligent platforms for collaboration.

According to Thomson Reuters’ “2018 Report on the State of the Legal Market,” over the last few years, law firms that proactively address the needs of their clients – e.g., by implementing alternative staffing strategies, pursuing flexible pricing models, adopting work process changes, making better use of innovative technologies, and the like – can achieve significant success.

Legal industry practitioners are taking note of the many digital tools now available to deliver an always-on, always-connected experience to both clients and employees.

The Digital Transformation Journey

Digital transformation (or digitization) impacts nearly every aspect of the legal experience, including service delivery, processes, discovery, workflow, marketing, team collaboration, and client engagement.

AI and machine-driven language solutions trained for specific industries can retrieve, process, and translate huge amounts of multilingual information in a consistent way. Especially for areas involving high volumes of multilingual content such as patents, e-discovery, social media, and knowledge bases. Legal practitioners face several challenges with multilingual data sets, initially in extracting, centralizing, and processing multilingual data for review. And, although analytics and predictive coding technologies are language-agnostic, it can be a challenge to manage search and review workflows across multiple language sets without expert guidance and the right technology solutions.

Machine learning when applied to Natural Language Processing (NLP) can unlock huge areas of information. The patent process is notoriously slow – patents can be approved years after a product has launched – and AI gives potential to speed it up.

The Role of AI in the Patent Process

According to Arie Blokland, Senior European Patent Attorney and Partner at AOMB Intellectual Property, “Words are the most important thing in patents. Patent attorneys are always keen on words. However, these words have different meaning in different languages. You have to describe technical words in a legal document—you must use words that both the judge and the patent examiner understands.”

According to Arie Blokland, Senior European Patent Attorney and Partner at AOMB Intellectual Property, if you introduce #AI into the global patent process, the quality of #patents will improve since the patent examiner can take into… Click To Tweet

Of utmost importance is consistency in words. A patent attorney will focus on words that are inconsistently used – they will see as a weak spot and can potentially destroy the patent. “AI enables consistent search for documents in the patent application process, specifically at the prior art stage. Attorneys can only understand and search documents in the language that they can read,” continues Arie.

“Getting multilingual documents translated is very important in the patent process. For global patents and the sheer volume of materials, AI can help enable the productivity and output of the process. AI gives patent attorneys the opportunity to potentially retrieve and understand ALL documents in the world. With AI-enabled technology, you can conduct a uniform prior art search to help validate patent,” he adds.

“You can train and educate machines to perform monolingual and cross-lingual research. Machines can do better translating certain types of content within the patent world, especially highly technical content – it can be done quicker and with more consistency. If you introduce AI into the global patent process, the quality of patents will improve since the patent examiner can take into account any document in any language. And the search reports produced by the national IP offices will be more complete and consistent and that will speed up a slow granting process.”

Key Considerations for Digital Transformation

The pace and flow of work in the traditional law firm may seem glacial in comparison to the speed and instant gratification that consumers have come to expect from the ever-present digital tools in their daily lives. Although the human side of the legal industry remains a crucial component, digital transformation can effectively improve the delivery of legal services in practical and innovative ways.

Contact Park IP to learn how our integrated solution with Relativity® streamlines the e-discovery process that includes data and documents in foreign languages.

AI, MT, and CX were core topics at our recent GTS Amsterdam. If you would like more information on future Park IP events please contact us at marketing@welocalize.com.