Technology to detect IP infringements

16 August 2016

Gowling WLG was instructed by a major international corporate in the technology space to develop a system to help them combat the online IP infringement epidemic. The aim was to reduce the time and cost of spending hours manually trawling through websites to detect and collate details of infringing listings, and take appropriate action.

Matt Heys, an in-house software solutions developer, worked with Gowling WLG principal associate Jenny Davies and associate Charlie Bond to design and develop software that could identify adverts infringing our client's IP rights and compile a report for further action. Matt Heys designed the tool to interface between the Gowling WLG IT systems and those of marketplace websites such as eBay, where most of the infringing products can be found.

This new technology has resulted in direct savings for the clients of £2,500 per client per month in reduced legal spend.

Currently the software is being used in relation to a specific website (confidential) but the intended next phase of development is to expand it to cover other online marketplaces. The program is designed to perform in minutes a process that manually took hours.

By combining our IT expert's technical knowledge with the practical experience of our intellectual property lawyers, we reached a solution that, while being complex in terms of the underlying software, is very straightforward to use. In designing the functionality of the program, the experience of manually identifying and reporting online infringements enabled the team to identify the approach needed.

Once the software has identified the infringing products, our intellectual property team can then send letters before action and initiate formal proceedings against companies that repeatedly infringe our clients' rights.

Our clients benefit from reduced costs, and Gowling WLG has freed up resource that was previously invested in time-heavy tasks. 

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