Australian IP firm Griffith Hack introduced its online trademark platform Amplia in 2016. Amplia allows the firm’s clients to view and manage their trademark portfolios, as well as file new applications, all in one place.
Griffith Hack principal Jürgen Bebber told Lawyers Weekly the platform offers two key benefits for clients: visibility and control.
In terms of visibility, he said Amplia gives clients a “one-click overview” of their trademark portfolios, allowing them to view the status of their cases and their email correspondence with the firm’s lawyers, as well as to make inquiries about cases.
Mr Bebber said that while the visibility function is not unique in the market, Amplia’s control factor sets it apart from other offerings.
“The bit that I haven’t really seen much of in the market, but of course I haven’t surveyed the entire market, is the control piece, which allows clients to effectively self-file trademarks through the Amplia platform and also to renew trademarks,” he said.
This functionality makes Amplia a hub for clients’ trademark management, connecting them to IP Australia. Some clients can also pay for their trademark or renewal through Amplia.
Mr Bebber, who drove the development of the platform, said it was created to improve Griffith Hack’s efficiency and client experience.
“I thought that there was an inherent inefficiency in the way things were done, in that there were multiple touch points within the organisation to do certain tasks, which of course also feeds into the cost,” he said.
But while the platform has streamlined trademark management for the firm’s clients, it has not had a dramatic effect on lawyers’ work, according to Mr Bebber.
“I don’t think it has changed the lawyers’ work as much as it has changed the administration of cases, in that there are now many more automated processes,” he said.
“I think in the future I can see that the lawyers’ work will be freed up a little bit more to do more of the advisory work, and this will be as a result of future developments that are in the pipeline.”
Self-service platforms like Amplia create great efficiencies for more experienced clients, but others still require personal assistance from a lawyer, Mr Bebber said.
“I think there are still quite a lot of clients around that do appreciate the face-to-face service, that want more assistance and less self-control, which is the reason why they are going to a firm in the first place.
“So I think while platforms are a great way for clients to visualise and take control. I think there still needs to be some sort of responsibility for the administration of the portfolios; and firms, I believe, in the future, will continue to deliver that sort of service to clients.”
Mr Bebber said that although he believes Amplia’s self-filing function sets it apart from platforms created by traditional law firms, NewLaw providers are racing to develop similar interfaces. LawPath, for one, offers online trademark applications.
“There’s also other players in the market that are not traditional firms. They are more in the software space, and I am seeing quite a lot of development in that space, in terms of allowing people to control, to file, to renew and so forth, so in that space I think there is going to be a lot of competition,” Mr Bebber said.