Homegrown Business: Stephanie Curcio of NLPatent

NLPatent is an AI-driven patent search and analytics platform, relied upon by pioneering enterprises, prominent legal practices, and esteemed academic institutions and is headquartered right here in Toronto. With NLPatent, users effortlessly articulate their inventions in complete sentences, and it promptly generates conceptually pertinent results, consistently surpassing the capabilities of human experts in both swiftness and precision. We had the opportunity to speak to Stephanie Curcio, CEO of NLPatent, to find out more about this cutting-edge platform.


What is your business called and what does it do?

NLPatent is an AI-based patent search and analytics platform trusted by innovative companies, leading law firms, and research universities around the world. The proprietary system is built from a fine-tuned Large Language Model (LLM) trained on patent data to truly understand the language of patents and innovation. Users simply describe their invention in full sentences and conceptually relevant results are generated instantly; consistently outperforming human experts on speed and accuracy.

What made you want to do this work?

I am an Intellectual Property lawyer by training; I practised patent law on Bay Street. While practising, I was exposed to incredible inefficiencies in the patent process, both on the law firm and client side. After learning about applications for AI to understand the nuances of language, it was clear that modern natural language processing techniques could be used to solve many problems in the patent process and uncover incredibly valuable business insights hidden in patent data. It basically hit me in the face that AI was going to revolutionize the profession and I needed to be along for the ride. I haven’t looked back since.

What problem did you want to solve with the business and how is the Google for Startups Accelerator program helping you with this goal?

NLPatent is on a mission to modernize the patent process using artificial intelligence. Patent search for us is just the beginning; our goal is to build out an end-to-end innovation platform built upon modern AI/ML techniques. There are so many novel applications for AI to dramatically improve the innovation lifecycle – to index ideas and inventions more intelligently, keep an eye on competitors, and maximize ROI of every dollar spent on R&D. Google for Startups is helping by providing us with access to incredible technical mentors who have been in the AI/ML space for decades. Google has also given us a ton of Google Cloud credits to assist us with our development and de-risk ML experiments.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Law firms; corporations that focus on R&D; research universities.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

My team at NLPatent has carefully crafted a fine-tuned large language model purpose-built to speak the language of patents and innovation. We charge a seat-based license to access our platform which scales up depending on the number of users.

It’s extremely simple to use. Users simply describe their invention in full sentences. Our AI reads it; understands it; and generates a list of patents that are conceptually similar to the full invention description. It works instantly and consistently outperforms human experts. We have taken a process that was reserved for patent professionals and democratized it so that anyone with an idea can access patent data as effectively (if not better) than an expert.

Where in the city can we find your business?

Toronto, Canada (HQ); London, UK (Sub)

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

What security measures are in place to protect my confidential information?

We take confidentiality very seriously. All data inputted into the NLPatent app is fully encrypted and hosted on our private cloud environment. Any “learning” that takes place within any given project is isolated to that project and never transfers between users.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part about what I do is leading a team to build something that wasn’t possible even a few years ago. Interacting with clients and seeing the sheer delight and wonder when our platform performs a task that took them tens of hours to accomplish never gets old!

The worst part is dealing with an industry that is risk-averse and reluctant to change (the legal industry!). That is, of course, changing, as it’s hard to ignore the incredible utility of AI tools and technologies that are revolutionizing every industry.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

What’s the difference between a lawyer and an accountant?

The accountant knows she is boring!

Where can we follow you?

Website | LinkedInInstagram

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

Valutie (CEO: Meyer Mechanic)




About Emilea Semancik 97 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to freelance her own pieces and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. She is also a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of recipe books. You can find her recipes on Instagram. @ancestral.foods