February 20 2020

Legal Innovation – a definition of its time

Marisa Monteiro Borsboom

"Music is essentially 12 notes between any octave. Twelve notes, and the octave repeats. It’s the same story told over and over, forever. All any artist can offer the world is how they see those 12 notes. That’s it." - A star is born

* * *

The great challenge ahead, for all of us, is to find an answer to the following questions.
- How can we innovate, adapt, and progress to keep the foundations strong?
- How can legal professionals (re)order their “notes’’ and reinvent our world while protecting our beloved Lady Justice?

More than disruption, the system needs creativity, a new vision, a new path, and new melody. The notes are not that different, they just need to be tuned. We are “still’’ humans living in organized societies and abide by law & order as the foundation of civilization itself. Nonetheless, we need geniuses to compose a modern soundtrack designed in different staves that now live in the digital realm.

Legal Innovation is not a newly discovered practice. Rather, it is a newly implemented tactic. It is inevitable along the development of a civilization because innovation is driven by history and only understood through the prism of time. Innovation aids through the analyses of the context where new ideas and realities are created.

“In the early nineteenth century, all countries with patent systems demanded that patentable inventions be new and useful. Now, these two fundamental requirements have been added by a third: patentable inventions must also be non-obvious. The non-obviousness requirement is considered so central to the patent policy that it is often called the doctrine of invention, inventive step or simply patentability requirement. This article traces how this defining doctrine of invention was invented by world legal culture”.

Therefore, we envision jurists of the last century speaking of new doctrines as innovative and even revolutionary. History reveals that the legal system itself is capable of generating true legal innovations. That is, intellectual advances that are better ways to fulfill the purposes of law. Such legal innovations may take decades, or even centuries to develop. Faulty doctrines may remain stable laws for much of a century before they fall.

Therefore, it must be understood that the legal innovation to which we refer is the innovation untapped by the digital revolution and technology. This ongoing revolution is far from a settled fact and is a continually changing reality. In liquid times, any definition in itself can never be solid and taken for granted.

Legal Innovation through the eyes of our times is mainly a reference to legal technology and legal design thinking. It is evolving at a fast pace, gathering more concepts and more areas as we redefine the legal ecosystem to be digital-ready and technically fit for purpose. Thus, there is no need to follow the motto ‘move fast and break things’, but to understand it is as a secular and fundamental structure of civilization as we cherish it and as we know it.

Article author:
Marisa Monteiro Borsboom

Leave a comment: