Technological advancements have had a tremendous impact on every industry, from how we socialize to how we work and obtain information. The legal industry is no exception to this.
Paper-based files and in-person meetings are now a thing of the past. Legal tech has effectively transformed and modernized some of the most traditional practices of law, like-
- Well-organized case management.
- Electronic payment options
- Cloud-based document storage
This is just a glimpse into how technology in the legal sector has made a huge impact. These software systems are not just benefitting the firms, but are also changing the lawyers’ outlook on how to practice law around the world.
Featuring on the cover of The Enterprise World’s special edition is Minesoft, a modern firm helping IP law firms with advanced AI solutions to help navigate complex patent data.
Legal Tech- A Sector Thriving on Boundless Innovations
“AI is a big buzzword in the IP industry at present and Minesoft is designing new ideas in this area to further automate and streamline our products. We host about 150 million patent (sci-tech) documents right now and this is increasing literally every week. Such a large body of research material needs to be made accessible to companies that are working to pioneer new solutions. Search speeds are getting exponentially faster, and the computer industry and data delivery mechanisms (including the Internet) are developing themselves, alongside our company.
Minesoft has always put innovation first since its formation in 1996, using the latest technology to provide suitable and efficient tools for the patent information community. We’re excited to continue this legacy with the introduction of some of the most powerful AI patent searching available to the IP industry. We use unique tokenization to deal with the ever-changing vocabulary of patent-like text and we use a novel training approach and model architecture to not only get an excellent understanding of patents and patent-like text but also to perform AI-based semantic searches quickly.
We chose an ideal moment in “technology time” to set up Minesoft, looking back on where we started and where we are now. With a recent growth investment from MLM 2 and Warburg Pincus, we have the resources to expand and develop our product suite. We foresee a great future.”, Ann Chapman Daniel, Co-Founder of Minesoft.
The Firm- Minesoft
Minesoft is the leading global patent solutions provider offering online products and services to many Fortune 500/FTSE 100 companies, IP specialists, patent attorneys, and search firms around the world.
“We recognize that innovation occurs all around the world, so our patent search platforms and convenient legal solutions fit the needs of global users in all industries. Our clients are leaders in all fields, including consumer goods, healthcare, sustainability, legal services, and more.”
Minesoft’s solutions include a global patent search and analysis database, legal alert services, document delivery, and custom workflow solutions.
In 2022, Minesoft closed on a substantial growth investment from MLM 2, an information services and software platform, and Warburg Pincus, a leading global growth investor. This significant growth investment is already accelerating the development of new products and enhancing existing products with analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Overcoming the Challenges-
Over the past two decades, the need for accurate and actionable intelligence from high-quality patent information has spread across a multitude of user bases and for an ever-widening number of use cases. Minesoft provides a series of web-based solutions platforms to bring high-quality, clean patent data to an array of users across the IP Lifecycle and for various corporate needs.
From the first own-label product in 2000, the company has gone from strength to strength. One of Minesoft’s first products was in the field of Legal Status Tracking of patent documents. This was a tiresome task back in the day, like looking for a needle in a haystack, but the person looking needed to be a patent specialist.
Minesoft is today firmly in the niche field of professional patent searching, which is not the same as most of its competitors, who have other fields of activity and interest that dilute their attention to the professional patent searching niche.
“We pay attention to the needs of the sector in a more concentrated way because we do not need to fit it into a much wider corporate approach.”
Their Suite of Products and Services-
Starting with high-quality data is crucial to the accuracy and precision of any patent search and analysis. If the underlying data used is unreliable then no end result using that data can be trusted. The data quality in PatBase is maintained by a close working relationship with the global patent offices, making thousands of error corrections to the data they receive and combining it with additional information as well as enhancing the original data (e.g. with standardized translations of company names such as Chinese, Japanese) to add quality to the end product.
“Minesoft has one of the highest client retention rates in the industry, something we have always taken pride in and invested time and energy in to make it possible. Relationships are important in this business.”
One way is via unlimited customer service by highly trained, industry-experienced success teams. Ensuring a client gets the most out of their subscription is important so the team takes the time to make sure clients fully understand system and data capabilities with unlimited training. What you see is what you get, in unlimited amounts.
Minesoft has been known to add an enhancement requested by a customer in the morning by mid-afternoon, making it available worldwide. They have many happy emails from users on this topic. By not restricting the sharing or distribution of information internally or to counsel, Minesoft also puts more value and power in the hands of customers who in turn tend to stay with the company longer.
Clients in the patent world understand how important data cleanliness, accuracy, and completeness are and it is always good to know when the team is doing a better job on the searchability side, as well as listening and responding to where they need to do better.
A Journey of Many Accolades-
Minesoft’s history spans over 20 years of innovation and development – an achievement in itself. In 2003, Minesoft & RWS launched PatBase, a new searchable database of patent documents designed by experts in the complex art of patent information research. Since the first critically acclaimed public demonstrations in 2003, PatBase has gone on to attract over 70,000 users worldwide.
In 2009, Minesoft won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for outstanding achievement in rapidly growing export markets in the field of Intellectual Property (patent) information – a testament to the international success of PatBase and to the dedication of the development, sales, and support staff behind it.
Minesoft has expanded its portfolio of innovative patent information products to include PatBase Express, PatentOrder, Patent FamilyPortal, PatentTracker, Legal StatusTracker, CiteTracker, Chemical Explorer, Pat-KM, and PatBase Analytics. This continuous innovation was instrumental in Minesoft being awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the second time in 2015.
The Award was given for impressive, sustained growth in International Trade, the company has demonstrated outstanding achievement in rapidly growing export markets in the field of Intellectual Property (patent) information.
“In 2018 and 2022, we received the award for Best Business at regional business awards in South West London, where our headquarters are based, a recognition and celebration of regional business success.”
The Next Big Thing-
As the number of user types across the IP lifecycle has multiplied over the years, so has the need for flexibility of search and analytics platforms with respect to functionality and usability. In the past, only the more specialized databases and access portals such as Questel, Orbit, Dialog or STN – or Genios and GBI in Germany – enabled sophisticated and experienced users to manipulate input queries in the hope that they could then decipher the vast amount of data available.
Today, all manner of users want easy-to-query databases and the ability to seamlessly create everything from board-level presentations to detailed invalidity reports. Search and analytics platforms need to allow users to quickly go from initial query to intelligent graphical output, just as easily as creating search results ready to submit to worldwide patent offices.
Minesoft has worked to constantly develop its platform to enable professional searchers and business executives to quickly gain the ability to answer business-critical questions in the timeliest manner. Search platforms should be built for users, by users, irrespective of what background these user communities have. Minesoft has tried to strike the balance between development cycles while listening to clients’ feedback.
“We have benefitted from great user feedback.”
An example of how we develop products is in vertical-specific tool modification. For instance, Minesoft has developed tools for people in the biotech, chemical, and life sciences area which range from the automation of text extraction and association to the ability to easily draw chemical structures for search input.
“If our clients have ideas about how we can further help them, we will do so, even if the benefit is focused on a particular vertical market segment.”