Tatu Ahlskog is a European Patent Attorney and Deputy Managing Director at Laine IP, one of Finland’s leading IP law firms. The firm focuses primarily on prosecution but has recently begun branching into litigation. Tatu describes Laine IP as a customer-centric, no-nonsense law firm, something that is clearly reflected in their way of choosing software to support their business.
“If a solution is valuable to the client, it’s valuable to us. It’s obvious that our clients benefit from accurate information and from knowing if they should file a certain application or not. So the value for the customer is the primary driver for us, and in that sense I see IPRally as a no-brainer. It saves us time and that’s great too, but I would think of that as secondary”, he says.
For the novelty, FTO and invalidity searches, Tatu relies on a combination of IPRally and one of the traditional search tools. Occasionally he may also combine using tools with outsourced services. But it always starts with IPRally.
“IPRally has become the go-to I always start with. I even use it live during client calls when they contact me and want advice on some new idea they have. Listening to the client, I can extract the key features and start getting to grips with the client’s idea and the prior art. Sometimes we can reach a conclusion there and then without long email threads. It’s as live as it can get and there’s an immediacy to it. This immediacy also means that I sometimes need to turn clients down right away because of the prior art we find with IPRally. Like ‘unfortunately that’s already been done, let me send you a link’. And the clients obviously love that, because who wants to waste money and time?”
The relevance ranking and automatic highlighting makes IPRally an unusually noise-free experience, according to Tatu.
“IPRally is excellent at weeding out irrelevant patent data. I haven’t seen that level of convenience elsewhere. It is brilliantly efficient combined with the ability to tweak your search as you go along. The learning curve is also very quick compared to traditional boolean tools which can be tricky and require a lot of practice. Once you learn IPRally it’s really easy to use and it doesn’t require a lot of back and forth”, he says and continues:
“Overall, IPRally perfectly aligns with the purpose of our business, which is to help the client. I can draft better patent applications with it because I know what to avoid and how to distinguish from problematic prior art. And I have been able to find decisive killer prior art using IPRally. So, our clients are definitely better off since we started using IPRally. And since an increasing number of examiners at the patent offices are searching with IPRally, using it already in the drafting phase increases predictability for the client.”
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