Copyright Law

New legal tech aims to bolster IP law firms' copyright infringement claims

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A copyright enforcement service has launched a propriety search engine to help intellectual property attorneys gather evidence to protect artists’ and photographers’ visual works.

The cloud-based platform called ImageRights for Law Firms was announced at the Copyright Society’s Annual Meeting in Chicago on June 13. The Boston-based company ImageRights International Inc. said in a news release it had created the platform for law firms and corporate legal departments.

Firms can upload client images to the platform, and it automatically searches online for matches using AI search, image matching and sighting analysis technology, the company said in the release.

In prepared remarks, Joe G. Naylor, CEO of ImageRights, said he had often heard from IP law firms that they would like a general search tool to investigate clients’ copyrighted images, including photos, illustrations and digital art.

“It became clear that there was an opportunity to leverage the incredible technology we have developed and expertise in identifying potential infringement claims and providing that directly to IP law firms and in-house legal teams,” Naylor said.

Using a simple interface, firms and their clients can upload their images for the search. According to the ImageRights website, the platform will find images “even if they have been radically cropped, colors changed or removed, text or image overlays added, or if images have been flipped or added to a collage.”

Lawyers can gather and compile the evidence that they find for copyright and counterfeit cases. Ted VanCleave, ImageRights co-founder, said in an interview the platform generates cases for IP lawyers if an infringement is detected, including the artist’s or copyright holder’s client information, the infringer’s information and time-stamped and date-stamped screenshots.

Once an artist’s image is uploaded, the process of revealing matches is automated for IP lawyers, according to VanCleave. It is automated to globally search around the clock for matches, he said, and captures 8 million images per day.

“We find 96,000-plus matches a day against our clients’ images,” VanCleave said. “When we provide the matches for the client, it’s easy for them to go through and look at their inbox and see if it’s an infringement or unauthorized use.”

For $195 per month, firms can upload 250 client images. A $395-per-month plan includes 1,000 images. And a $595-per-month plan allows for 50,000 images, according to VanCleave. He said the company has 20 million client images in its system.

ImageRights International has provided third-party verification in thousands of court cases, he said.

Updated June 28 at 2:28 p.m. to correctly state that the $395-per-month plan includes 1,000 images.

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