Queensland-based image-recognition startup TrademarkVision has landed the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) as the first customer of its new deep learning algorithm. Following a successful beta trial, the EUIPO will now be integrating TrademarkVision's new deep learning algorithm into its eSearch platform to cut down the time it takes to search EU image trademarks. Previously, trademark searches and monitoring required the use of descriptive -- and therefore subjective -- keywords and codes, making it a tedious process with no guarantee of generating accurate results. "When you come across a logo, it's easy to compare it with your own, but when you want to compare it to millions, suddenly the task becomes very daunting," said TrademarkVision's founder and CEO Sandra Mau. "For anyone who has ever wanted to create a unique logo or ensure their IP is safe from possible infringement, they know this process can take hours, days, and sometimes weeks."
A computer's ability to accurately identify images is a white whale for many technology companies, from Baidu to Google. One Australian startup has found a corner of the market to dominate, winning contracts with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and IP Australia for algorithms that can detect and compare logos. SEE ALSO: Airbnb is getting into the airline booking disruption game with'Flights' TrademarkVision, which has support from Australia's CEA Startup Fund, uses machine learning to support image searches that can identify similar trademarks. Having a unique trademark or logo is vital, but many intellectual property registration bodies often require outdated forms of non-visual search that make comparison difficult. Australia, for example, relies on keywords, Europe on Vienna codes and the U.S. on design codes.
A Queensland startup has celebrated a new deal with a major European customer after it perfected new deep learning technology that recognises images beyond simple shape and texture matching. TrademarkVision's deal with the European Union Intellectual Property Office this month comes after a successful beta test that saw around 1,000 trademark image searches conducted each day. The EUIPO becomes the first governmental agency to take up the technology, although the terms of the contract were not disclosed. In the past year, the company has been working on deep learning technology to take its software to the next level of intelligence, and the move has borne fruit in a spectacular way with the EU deal. "We've focused on machine learning techniques so the system can recognise objects in trademarks and logos much like humans do.
There are two competing nightmare scenarios for any company unveiling a new brand or logo. The first is that the internet will rise up in righteous indignation about how awful it is or what part of human anatomy it most resembles. The second and significantly scarier nightmare is that the logo is infringing on an existing trademark. The phenomenon, which is today often called design plagiarism, is often intentional--but can just as frequently be accidental. And no wonder: Searching for similar logos and marks is nearly impossible in the warren of databases of American trademarks, much less in any other country.