How certified Timestamping will help lawyers: 4 use cases
Lawyers are always striving to provide the best possible service to their clients. From drafting contracts to handling litigation, a lawyer’s daily activities involve a lot of document management. In today's digital age, using certified timestamping solutions can help with this aspect of their job in several ways.
Use Case 1 – Certified Evidence
One of the most significant advantages of using a certified timestamping solution is to provide certified, irrefutable evidence. Lawyers often need to gather proof to support their case. However, evidence, especially if digital, can easily be tampered with, leading to questions about its authenticity.
By using a certified timestamping solution, lawyers can ensure that the proof has not been altered, providing them with the evidence they need to support a case in court. There are many timestamping providers on the market and choosing the right one is difficult. However, for a lawyer needing to provide irrefutable proof, the best is to go for an eIDAS-certified provider, that gives the guarantee to European courts that the timestamp is valid.
Use Case 2 - Contract Management
Contracts are critical legal documents that outline the terms and conditions of agreements between parties. Most of the times, the contracts are drafted and managed by lawyers or legal officers. These documents are often revised, amended, and updated over time. Timestamping can help ensure that the latest version of a contract is always available and easily accessible. By timestamping each version of a contract, lawyers can quickly establish when a specific clause was added or removed, making it easier to track changes and negotiate new terms.
For example, suppose two parties sign a contract that includes a clause stating that one party will provide a certain product or service within a specific time frame. If that party fails to meet the deadline, the other party may want to terminate the contract. Timestamping can help establish the exact date when the clause was added, making it easier to determine whether the deadline was missed and thus whether the contract can be terminated.
Use Case 3 - Intellectual Property Protection
Intellectual property is a valuable asset for many businesses and can represent up to 80% of a company’s value. IP includes patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.
Timestamping can help protect this IP by providing an immutable record of when a particular document was created or modified. This can help file a trademark or patent registration. It is even more important for copyrights, that do not require any registration. Timestamping makes it easier to establish the creation date of an intellectual property asset, which will be a key element of proof in case of litigation over the ownership.
For example, if a company creates a software and wants to claim ownership, it needs to show that it was the first to write it. Timestamping can help establish the date of creation by providing an immutable record of when the initial source code was created. This can help the company secure its rights and prevent competitors from infringing on its intellectual property.
Use Case 4 - Regulatory Compliance
Legal practices are subject to various regulations, such as those related to data privacy and security. Using a certified timestamping solution can help lawyers comply with these regulations by providing a secure and transparent way of storing and sharing sensitive information.
Timestamping also provides a way to ensure that audit trails are accurate and complete, making it easier to comply with regulatory requirements.
For example, suppose a company is audited by a regulatory agency that requires it to provide evidence of its compliance with GDPR, following complaints from customers. The company will need to prove that it has indeed received consent from these customers before sending out communication. If these consents have been timestamped at the time of collection, the company will be able to defend itself by demonstrating compliance.
In conclusion, using a certified timestamping solution can provide lawyers and legal teams with several advantages. From certified evidence to compliance and traceability, eIDAS-certified timestamping solutions can help lawyers in their daily lives by providing them with the proof and authenticity they need for various legal processes.
At Vaultinum, we offer an eIDAS timestamping solution that can help lawyers deal with Intellectual Property and Compliance litigation, by providing the evidence they need.
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