Law firms around the world are increasingly investing in technology to remain competitive, new data shared with City A.M. reveals.
Exactly 1,184 patent applications for legal services technology were filed globally in the year ending September 2022, according to data obtained by Thomson Reuters from the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
China filed the most with 755, followed by the US with 178 and the Republic of Korea with 118. But only one was filed in the UK.
Of the total patent applications, 59 involved AI technology. Over 80 per cent of legal professionals surveyed by Thomson Reuters believe generative AI can be applied effectively to their work, such as helping to review legal documents, while nearly six in ten think it should be.
Commenting on the data, Kriti Sharma, chief product officer for legal technology at Thomson Reuters, said that law firms are increasingly seeing the integration of legal tech in their practice as “essential to their future competitiveness”.
“Generative AI will not replace highly trained lawyers and accountants, but a lawyer or accountant using generative AI could replace one who isn’t using the technology in the very near future,” Sharma said.
“While it is clear AI offers huge opportunities to transform the way we work, we also need to stay mindful of its responsible development,” she said.