Canadian Lawyer

May 2024

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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40 MacDonell says many small clients often don't understand the difference between registering their business and protecting their IP. Platforms like Amazon and Google want that to improve so their marketplaces work better. "We hear this over and over again from clients. The small clients will come to us when they're facing litigation or some kind of infringement dispute. They don't come to us generally to search and file trademarks. It's the bigger clients that do that routinely." By integrating these tools earlier in a business' life cycle at a much smaller cost, MacDonell aims to democratize IP protection. "My personal fundamental belief is that what we're going to see in legal tech, across the board with AI, is this revolution … where people who were underserved by lawyers will have access to legal protections for the first time." For Richard Pfohl, Music Canada's general counsel, identifying IP infringement by new artificial intelligence companies is a significant priority. In October 2023, a cohort of music publishers sued AI company Anthropic for allegedly using copyrighted song lyrics to train its chatbot. According to reports, the lawsuit included songs from Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and the Beach Boys, and the case was said to be the first of its kind. "The concern for us is when AI is used in a way to effectively steal intellectual property, to take someone else's creations and create something out of those creations." Pfohl says jurisdictions around the world are struggling with similar challenges. He points out how countries have come together to update and adapt copyright laws to the digital and AI landscapes, citing examples such as the World Intellectual Property Organization's treaties, European Union directives, and various national legislation. Pfohl says Music Canada believes that current copyright laws can "do the job" of protecting artists from IP infringements. Still, his organization advocates for transparency and record-keeping legislative reforms to bolster copyright laws. "Where you're training large language models on other people's content, we contend you need to disclose what you're training them on," he says. Musicians now face new forms of IP theft, such as deep fakes. Music Canada is currently lobbying Parliament to protect what is referred to as "personality" or "publicity" rights. "There can be all sorts of different uses of it that can fundamentally undercut the value of an artist." LEGAL REPORT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY and allow us to focus on really high-level strategy work." Godfrey says some of that strategy work involves investigating widespread counterfeiting campaigns to go after the "heart of the problem" rather than sending the individual notices that the software can handle. He says the platform can perform in different languages and is effective with most large-scale international sites. Julie MacDonell is the CEO and founder of Haloo, which uses AI for trademark searches. She sees AI as having a transformative impact on who can benefit from IP protection. MacDonell says her company's technology offers comprehensive trademark searches traditionally conducted by human analysts. This not only surpasses the accuracy of human analysis, she says, but also significantly reduces the time and expense involved in securing a trademark. "We built algorithms to conduct all of that human work in human analysis, to draw out trademark conflicts from datasets, and then to rank them by infringement risk." MacDonell says Haloo serves lawyers and small businesses, but how it markets its services to both can vary significantly. For example, Haloo's search tool can be integrated with consumer-facing websites like Google. "In a 20-second tool, we have worked with Google to simplify the user experience … to the extent that somebody who's not a lawyer at all can self-serve their own trademark clearance." GOWLING WLG'S SATURN BRAND PROTECTION SERVICE Gowling WLG recently announced an artificial intelligence service to protect brands against online infringement. "Saturn" includes the following services: • Online marketplace searches • Unlimited takedowns and technical analyst time • Monthly reporting and annual audit • Fee earners available to help tailor strategy "My personal fundamental belief is that what we're going to see in legal tech, across the board with AI, is this revolution … where people who were underserved by lawyers will have access to legal protections for the first time" Julie MacDonell, Haloo

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