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Make technology work for you

Technology can be a great tool for trademark lawyers—but you have to work smartly to get the full benefit of it. That was the message from Saturday’s session on “Running the Technologically Advanced Trademark Law Firm Practice"

Anuj Desai of Arnall Golden Gregory in the U.S. extoled the virtues of deploying technology in the courtroom: for example, it is quicker and easier to search PDFs than bundles of paper files during cross-examination, and information on tablet computers can be easily accessed, shared and synchronized. “A lot of courtrooms are very advanced these days,” said Desai. “I don’t even have a legal pad ­anymore.”

However, despite the benefits of technology, the panel, moderated by Mark Kachigian of Johnson & Kachigian in the U.S., agreed that lawyers need to keep close control over it. For example, when using cloud-based docketing technology, compare the long-term benefits of different systems before commiting to one of them. “Look at the costs over five years,” said Desai.

Cory Furman of Furman IP & Strategy in Canada reinforced the need to retain control, when discussing his “deep scrapheap of experience” in integrating different software systems. Put in place your business workflows before you acquire software tools, set a budget and streamline your approach, he advised, otherwise you can (as he did) find yourself having to enter a client’s change of address in five places.

The panel’s third speaker, Nathalie Dreyfus of Dreyfus in France, discussed some other considerations when using technology, including laws on transferring data between jurisdictions and the need for a disaster recovery plan.

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