Juscutum Law Firm is known for its technical developments. Two years ago, the company started working on bots — and now it has high hopes for this direction. At present Juscutum is developing five bots at once.
The first Juscutum bot was created in 2016. It was called the Paralegal bot and was supposed to help with the registration of companies: check the names, suggest Classification of Business Activities, the tax system. However, the Paralegal bot has not fully entered the market — according to Afian, the bot did not have real value without the introduction of mobileID and BankID in the country.
But thanks to the work with Paralegal bot Juscutum team gained experience in this area and was able to draw the necessary conclusions. The main thing is that the company realized that it wants to continue working on bots development.
According to Afian, Juscutum paid attention to this technology because it allowed to template a lot of things — and it is very valuable in the legal field: “If you want to contact a person on the other side of our planet, you press one button. But if you are flooded by your neighbor, you have to hire a person at an hourly rate to explain this situation to the judge. It doesn’t look right.”
After some attempts with Paralegal bot Juscutum started to develop PatentBot. It helps to register trademarks in a few clicks through Facebook Messenger and its web version. Afian highlights three PatentBot advantages over the traditional method: to use a bot is easier, its services are cheaper in two or three times on the market (from 790 UAH), and, finally, it is available around the clock.
Previously, trademark registration was a complex and incomprehensible process. Many postponed this procedure or did not do it at all. We made it as ordinary as ordering pizza.
But Juscutum pins its main hopes on another bot function, which Afian calls “cross-border registration”. With PatentBot’s help, a resident of one country can quickly and cheaply register a trademark in a completely different jurisdiction — for example, a US resident in an EU country.
For a little more than a year of work PatentBot became the “flagship” of the company and won success. It became a Bot-2017 according to ProductHunt, but what is more important — the largest Hong Kong accelerator Betatron invested into it at an estimate of $750 000. According to Afian, such a deal shows great prospects for the development, as Juscutum became the first legaltech company in the post-Soviet space, which attracted money from China.
The lawyer notes that he is not ready to announce the amount of money spent on bot’s creation. But he emphasizes that the company spent much less than if the bot was made by a team from another field. In addition, the law firm has its own software developers — it also allowed to save on development.
Now in Ukraine with the help of PatentBot each 50th trademark is registered. Juscutum notes that all income the bot has gets reinvested, so it is difficult to say about specific income. Afian is sure that the development could bring more, but the team had made a serious mistake — it ignored marketing: “We did nothing to promote it and only now we are starting to establish a sales system. It took us, lawyers, patent attorneys and developers, almost a year to realize the simple banality — it is not enough to create a good product, it is necessary to be able to sell it”.
You may assume that for a little more than a year of work PatentBot earned us up to $100 000. It would be enough if we wanted to do business in Ukraine — this is a good performance for a small patent office. But we are more ambitious.
Under big ambitions Afian implies activity in the global market — and it does not necessarily have to be connected only with trademarks’ registration: “We want to make PatentBot a universal service — a single window for registration of any intellectual property around the world. At the same time, the bot will not only ask for data, but also provide the necessary advice, and always very quickly, efficiently and with humor.”
After PatentBot Juscutum and partners launched work on the next bot — it is positioned as a full-fledged procurement automation system. TradeBot helps to draw up contracts for the supply of products without intermediaries. “The bot speeds up and simplifies the cooperation between the buyer and the supplier. In addition, it helps to arrange the work without violating the law — for example, it can help to avoid a situation where there are unaccounted balances in the warehouse,” Afian emphasizes.
The company is cautious about bringing TradeBot to the market, as businesses will have to change their business processes: in some cases, to outsource purchases, to reform the Accounting Department.
Now TradeBot is working in a test mode at the food industry enterprise, and Juscutum plans it is entering the market at the beginning of next year. The company is going to make money on the bot due to a fixed fee. Now it is 30 UAH for each contract, but, according to Afian, this amount may change later.
Juscutum made the biggest marketing ploy in the field of bots when it launched SudoBot, which helps couples to get a divorce. The company released it on February 14 with the slogan “give her/him freedom”. Afian says that the idea to create such a bot came to the team, based on interesting statistics: “Ukraine is one of the leaders in the number of divorces in Europe. We have almost every other couple ending their marriage. But for this they need to contact a lawyer — and even in the regions an ordinary specialist will take 1500 UAH for such a procedure.”
SudoBot helps to make a claim, send it to the court and pay the state fee. Its services cost 740 UAH. “Another advantage is confidentiality,” Afyan says. “Many divorcing couples are ashamed to talk about their situation to a living person”. Therefore, they are more willing to turn to the bot. It doesn’t care.”
During the work with the help of SudoBot users submitted about 200 applications. Juscutum notes that this is quite a bit — it is due to absence of marketing. “We targeted the audience incorrectly. We thought that young people would be divorced who are married less than a year. But the fact is that 20% of such couples are divorced — the same figure for spouses who are together from 5 to 8 years.”
Juscutum has big plans for SudoBot. The company wants to expand the scope of its services from filing a divorce application to filing a lawsuit for any reason. According to Afian, the team plans to start working on it in six months to finalize the current version. Juscutum, for example, is often asked to teach the bot to help in an accident, but the company has not yet decided what features will be added next.
Another Juscutum’s “flagship”, in Afian’s opinion, may become a StaffBot. It is designed for production studios and helps casting managers to draw up the necessary agreements with the actors for filming. Paperwork is only the first stage of StaffBot development. Afian says that in the future Juscutum will make it a full-fledged casting system and a personal manager for the actors.
The company has been working on StaffBot since early 2018 and launched it in September. Presently the bot is working with several production studios: “The bot solves a really urgent problem. And our advantage over competitors is that we approach the process from the legal side. We are convinced that our solution will be cheaper and more efficient for companies.” Juscutum plans to make profit of the StaffBot via a subscription model.
AILO online platform
Finally, another technological development of Juscutum — AILO — is being prepared for the launch, which will take place in about a month. It is an online platform that works in a bot format. It is designed for legal support of crypto business: AILO helps to choose the jurisdiction to register your company, draws up contracts and gives advice. With its help you may also contact a lawyer from the cryptosphere or apply to various government agencies and regulators.
Afian says that the platform will be cheaper and more convenient than the services of lawyers. Its another specific feature is the understanding of live speech, that is, it can be controlled by ordinary questions, not by specific commands.
AILO is a global product, after its launch it will work in the US, EU and post-Soviet space. Further Juscutum plans to expand the bot’s geography to Asia and South America. “There are a few cryptolawyers nowadays. And they have little understanding of corporate law, taxes, securities — but at the same time they set high rates. Presently we are one of the leading law firms in this area in the post-Soviet space. And we want to strengthen these positions with technology.”
Afian says that initially the company began to develop bots not to gain some profit. But in the process, the team realized that this was a very promising business. According to Afian estimates, now bots bring only 5% of Juscutum’s total income, but in the coming years this figure may increase significantly.
Often lawyers are considered as specialists who provide little added value. As a matter of fact, it is. Many processes can be automated in this regard — this is what we want to achieve.
Afian admits that in 5 years the earnings from bots will exceed the income from the traditional activities of the company and says that Juscutum is committed to this: “Of course, we do not forget about our traditional activities, working with people. But we want our share of technological products to increase. If this happens, we will consider it a success, not a defeat.”