Alt Trademarks: Episode 8 - Radiance Harris

Alt Legal presents the newest episode of Alt Trademarks, a biweekly podcast hosted by Hannah Samendinger. Alt Trademarks discusses the latest news in trademark law, features interviews with prominent trademark professionals, and contemplates the issues trademark professionals face. 

In this broadcast, Hannah talks with Radiance Harris of Radiance IP Law. Radiance talks about starting her own practice and about developing a flat-fee pay structure. Because she considers herself an introvert, Radiance offers tips and tricks for other introverts in the legal field. Hannah and Radiance also discuss the rise and some potential pitfalls of hashtag trademark applications. Some examples can be found here and here

For additional examples of hashtag trademarks and information about the cases discussed in the episode, check out Radiance’s article on hashtag trademarks here: www.americanbar.org

If you would like to contact Radiance, she can be reached online at radianceiplaw.com, on Linkedin.com/in/radianceharris, or by email at rharris@radianceiplaw.com.



Alt Trademarks: Episode 7 - Amanda Conley and Shabnam Malek

Alt Legal presents the newest episode of Alt Trademarks, a biweekly podcast hosted by Hannah Samendinger. Alt Trademarks discusses the latest news in trademark law, features interviews with prominent trademark professionals, and contemplates the issues trademark professionals face. 

In this broadcast, Hannah talks with Amanda Conley and Shabnam Malek of Brand & Branch in California. Amanda and Shabnam discuss their intellectual property practice that specializes on cannabis companies. They talk about opening a practice and some obstacles facing cannabis businesses seeking IP protection. They also discuss the impact that changes in cannabis law may have on the related IP. You can listen to this episode below or on iTunes or Google Play.

If you would like to contact Amanda and Shabnam, they can be reached online at brandandbranch.com, on LinkedIn at Linkedin.com/in/imperfectsonnet and Linkedin.com/in/shabnam-malek-342b3b7 or by email at trademarks@brandandbranch.com.

Alt Legal Wins Techshow Competition

Alt Legal is one of twelve companies named in the American Bar Association's Techshow Startup Alley competition.

Because of their selection, Alt Legal will be exhibiting at the ABA Techshow. They'll also participate in a bracketed pitch competition.

Nehal Madhani, Alt Legal's founder and CEO, is proud of the company's inclusion. "We're pleased and honored to be included among such fantastic companies. We're excited for the conference!" Madhani says.

Judges for the competition included Robert Ambrogi and Evolve Law cofounders Mary Juetten and Jules Miller. 

The Startup Alley competition was created by Techshow, Above the Law, Evolve Law and Law Sites Blog.

Alt Legal CEO Featured on IP Fridays

IP Fridays, a leading intellectual property law podcast, recently interviewed Alt Legal founder and CEO Nehal Madhani. In the podcast, Nehal sits down with IP Fridays cofounder and cohost Ken Suzan to talk about IP docketing management.

In the interview, Nehal discusses his transition from a lawyer at large law firm Kirkland and Ellis to being an entrepreneur. Nehal explains some of the steps he took to become a software developer and the CEO of a legal tech company.

Nehal also describes some of the processes Alt Legal uses to extract accurate and meaningful data from government sources. Having this data allows Alt Legal to fully automate its trademark docketing software. Patents are next, Nehal says.

Alt Legal's goal is to automate IP lawyers' most tedious work, so Nehal and Ken discuss which national and international government IP offices make that task easiest. Nehal describes New Zealand's recent and fantastic strides in that arena. Making an appeal to IP offices, Nehal describes the benefits of APIs both for attorneys and for the offices themselves.

When asked which technologies he'd recommend to IP lawyers, Nehal suggested not only cloud-based docketing software (like Alt Legal's) but also case-management software (particularly Clio, MyCase and Rocket Matter) as well as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that they can use to manage their client relationships.

IP Fridays fans should also check out Alt Trademarks, Alt Legal's own trademark-focused podcast.

Alt Trademarks: Episode 6 - Sonia Lakhany

Alt Legal presents the newest episode of Alt Trademarks, a biweekly podcast hosted by Hannah Samendinger. Alt Trademarks discusses the latest news in trademark law, features interviews with prominent trademark professionals, and contemplates the issues trademark professionals face. 

In this broadcast, Hannah speaks with Sonia Lakhany, a solo practitioner running a boutique intellectual property practice with offices in Atlanta and LA. They discuss Sonia's transition into a solo practice. Sonia offers suggestions that both new and veteran attorneys can take to stand out from the competition. They also discuss fictional brands and characters as well as the nuances of getting IP protection for something fictional. You can listen to this episode below or on iTunes or Google Play.

If you would like to contact Sonia, you can email her at sonia@lakhanylaw.com, find her on LinkedIn at Linkedin.com/in/sonialakhany , or check out her Twitter at @LadyLanhamEsq.


The Ethics of IP Docketing Software

If you work in intellectual property law, your practice is ruled by deadlines. Missing one -- even by a day -- means more than the headache of reviving applications and paying extra fees. It could mean losing that customer, marring your reputation, or facing a malpractice suit. So, how do you ensure that your growing practice never faces these consequences? There are a variety of modern, efficient, and affordable solutions available to use in your practice. 

As an attorney, your primary goal should be to provide competent representation for your clients. Both the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and state ethics rules mandate that lawyers commit themselves to competence. This means that attorneys must have the requisite “legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation” to handle each case, according to the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.1.

As technology continues to advance and spread, the ABA makes it clear that it won’t excuse those who find themselves left behind. Attorneys must maintain competence by “keep[ing] abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology,” according to Comment 8, which was adopted in 2012. Twenty-five state bar associations have since followed suit and added their own technical competence requirements. The message is loud and clear: Technical ignorance is unethical, and it’s up to lawyers to stay up-to-date in legal technology.

These standards are more than idle talk: The USPTO has sanctioned attorneys who fail to maintain an adequate method for monitoring deadlines. Take, for example, the case of the California lawyer who used a Microsoft Word document and a whiteboard to track IP filings without an adequate calendar system. After missing patent maintenance fee deadlines for several clients, the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) suspended his license to practice before the USPTO for five years. Even after this major faux pas, the USPTO discovered that the attorney continued to practice the next year, causing him to resign in 2014.

The USPTO, ABA, and state bars all hold attorneys accountable for missed deadlines, and especially when a lawyer is using a traditional, pencil-and-paper docketing system, there isn’t much room for leniency. Even in cases where an attorney’s license isn’t suspended or revoked, there is still a lot to lose. In a study conducted by the ABA, alleged failure to file documents, failure to calendar, or a missed deadline comprise 24.1 percent of legal malpractice lawsuits.

After allegedly missing a patent term extension deadline for a pharmaceutical product with $2 billion in sales, Fish & Neaves faced a malpractice suit of its own. MDCO, the plaintiff, asserted that Fish & Neaves’ mistake cost the product four and a half years of market exclusivity. Although the parties agreed to settle without damages to either side in August 2015, this was after a year of litigation, which could be too costly or hurtful to the reputation of a smaller firm.

Between the high-stakes threat of malpractice suits and ethical concerns for maintaining competence, intellectual property law practice certainly comes with its own set of challenges. IP docketing software helps attorneys navigate these risks and run efficient, reputable practices. Instead of the traditional system, where lawyers would determine deadlines by looking at paperwork and counting through the months or years on calendars, patent and trademark docketing software automatically calculates deadlines and provides periodic email alerts. This process gives attorneys peace of mind, as they’re not left to second-guess their own work.

Once the due dates have been calculated, docketing software makes it easy for lawyers to track their filings by keeping them updated. Although the USPTO sends notices as well, these are in the mail, and there are certainly no guarantees that they reach the attorneys on time. When considering docketing software, it's important to note though that not all docketing software is the same. Don't hesitate to ask exactly how it works, and choose your software carefully: Some companies will provide automation, granular statuses and deadlines and constant updates.

IP docketing software doesn’t just help you to track your filings, though. Many companies also provide secure client communication channels, which allow you to maximize productivity and collaborate with customers effectively. Client intake is just one process that benefits greatly from these tools. Traditionally, firms needed to spend time creating their own intake forms, which of course needs to be differentiated based on the type of services the client requested. Some software companies now provide customizable, cloud-based forms that allow for both attorney and client contributions in real time.

Legal technology is here to stay. Don’t miss out on the game-changing benefits various softwares and platforms could have on your firm. Your clients -- and your colleagues -- will appreciate increases in efficiency, and customer acquisition will follow suit.



Alt Trademarks: Episode 5 - Bill Samuels

Alt Legal presents the newest episode of Alt Trademarks, a biweekly podcast hosted by Hannah Samendinger. Alt Trademarks discusses the latest news in trademark law, features interviews with prominent trademark professionals, and contemplates the issues trademark professionals face. 

In this broadcast, Hannah speaks with Bill Samuels, a New York-based IP attorney who founded his own practice, WR Samuels Law, in the midst of the financial crisis. Bill discusses his practice, how he got to where he is today, and some considerations international IP attorneys might have regarding Brexit. You can listen to this episode below or on iTunes or Google Play.

If you would like to contact Bill, he can be reached on his website: wrsamuelslaw.com, on Linkedin.com/in/wrsamuels, or on Twitter at @wrsamuels.


Alt Legal Featured in IP Frontline

IP Frontline, a top publication for intellectual property legal professionals, published a case study featuring Alt Legal customer Amy Sullivan Cahill.

In the case study, Amy discusses her concerns about leaving her large law firm to start her own trademark law firm, Cahill IP. Now, about a year into her new practice, she reflects on her firm's growth and success.

She talks about the critical role Alt Legal plays in her daily operations. Like many Alt Legal customers, Amy praises our automated docketing and our stellar customer service. She says she loves the confidence of knowing that she won't miss any deadlines.

Check out the article here: http://blog.ip.com/2016/11/interview-using-alt-legal-trademark-docketing-system/

Alt Trademarks: Episode 4 - Ed Timberlake

Alt Legal presents the newest episode of Alt Trademarks, a biweekly podcast hosted by Hannah Samendinger. Alt Trademarks discusses the latest news in trademark law, features interviews with prominent trademark professionals, and contemplates the issues trademark professionals face. 

In this broadcast, Hannah speaks with Ed Timberlake of Forrest Firm in Durham, North Carolina. They talk about Ed's time as a trademark examiner at the USPTO as well as his work at the Copyright Office.They talk about Ed's time as a trademark examiner and at the Copyright Office. Ed also discusses several interesting trademarks and explains why what is often called "non-traditional trademarks" aren’t so different from more common forms of trademarks. You can listen to this episode below or on iTunes or Google Play.

Click on the links below to find out more about the marks discussed during this episode: 
Duck March: tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=27104…Type=statusSearch
Goat Restaurant Mark 1: tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=74646…Type=statusSearch
Goat Restaurant Mark 2: tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=77936…Type=statusSearch

If you would like to contact Ed, he can be reached by email at ed@forrestfirm.com, on Linkedin.com/in/edtimberlake, or on Twitter at @TimberlakeLaw.


Alt Legal Wins Innovation Award

Alt Legal is proud to announce that it has won an innovation award. Above The Law's Academy for Private Practice (APP) last month announced the winners of its “Shark Tank”-style startup competition: “The alt.legal Innovation Awards Company Showcase.”

The competition featured submissions by 66 legal technology startups. Of the applicants, the 15 top contenders each presented to a panel of judges a 3-minute pitch. The judges then selected the best in each category. Alt Legal won in the Intellectual Property category.

In a statement, Alt Legal founder and CEO Nehal Madhani said that he was both "excited and humbled" to receive the award. "We are working hard to revolutionize intellectual property software by making sophisticated, easy-to-use, automated software to save lawyers time and money. My team is proud to see their efforts recognized, and we greatly appreciate the judges' time and consideration. We look forward to continuing to serve IP attorneys and drive innovation."

Judges of the competition included Joe Borstein (Thomson Reuters & ATL alt.legal columnist), Mary Juetten (CEO & Founder of Traklight), Nicole “Niki” Black (Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase), and Monica Bay (CodeX fellow, California attorney, and ATL columnist).