Law firms and legal tech companies are behind the growth of patents in the legal marketplace with the US leading the way.
According to Thomson Reuters, 579 patents relating to new legal services technology were filed worldwide in 2016, up from just 99 patents in 2012, citing data from The World Intellectual Property Organisation. The statistics reveal a rise in the use of technology and outsourcing by traditional law firms in the UK, the US and East Asia as law firms seek to increase efficiency and sell new services. The US accounts for the highest proportion of the total with 38 per cent filed in the US, 34 per cent filed in China and 15 per cent in South Korea.
Thompson Reuters spokesperson Charlotte Rushton says of the figures: 'Most major law firms now operate on a global scale, managing deals and litigation across multiple jurisdictions and cross-borders, for which new technology is being specifically developed.' She added that systems such as matter management analytics allow law firms to coordinate live deals and business development programs throughout their global networks.