Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lex Machina Adds PTAB Data and New ACC Article Provides "in House" View of Lex Machina and Legal Analytics

In November  when I wrote Lex Machina Provides Bigger Data "Custom Insights Raises the Analytics Bar for IP Litigators it was clear that the product would continue to evolve. Last week Lex Machina added a new "high value"  tranche of litigation data from the Patent and Trademark Appeals Board and the  International Trade Court. The PTAB data include every trial since the creation of PTAB in September 2012. It currently includes the Lead Petitioner and the Patent owner,  not all parties are listed at this time- but there is  a plan to add all party names. A complete list of parties can be viewed in the related PTAB documents. The module include all the PTAB documents in PDF format for fee.

"PTAB Trials "currently includes two tabs: a Summary which describes the case and Timing. They will be adding information on law firms, attorneys, outcomes and findings. The PTAB document are assigned granular codes for documents types. They currently identify about 20 different types of documents related to PTAB trials. They plan to add judges data in the near future.

New PTAB Data Reports in Lex Machina

The Lex Machina "motion metrics" report will include all district court and PTAB cases/ They are tightening the integration of  District, PTABa nd ITC investigations data.

In House Counsel and Legal Analytics ( or Escape from Anec-data)

I have focused on Lex Machina as a powerful data engine for law firm business development and a kind of crystal ball providing predictive insights which can be applied to case assessment and litigation strategy. The March issue of the  Association of Corporate Counsel Docket is featuring an article which provides in the "In-house" perspective on legal analytics from Lex Machina and other sources. The  article co-authored by Kevin Kramer, Yahoo's VP and Deputy General Counsel for intellectual property and Owen Byrd. Lex Machina's Chief Evangelist and General Counsel. The Article " Legal Analytics Transform Law Department Patent Activity" describes the variety of ways that in house counsel are using data to select and manage outside counsel, make internal business decisions when faced with a lawsuit and determine their own tactical and strategic approaches to case assessment for patent litigation. The article provides  interesting insights into how Yahoo is using data to assess their response to patent troll litigation, select outside counsel and conduct case assessment and litigation strategy. There were also some applications I couldn't have imagined. Yahoo  reports using workforce data and geographic location of their engineers to anticipate the volume of "invention discolsures" which will be submitted to the GC. My favorite insight in the article is the power of legal analytics to empower lawyers by  moving them away from making decisions using subjective "anec-data" to leveraging resources which deliver actionable, objective data.

The authors are optimistic that access to legal analytics will continue to improve but they  also highlight two important "confidential" data sets which remain unavailable for analysis. These two areas are settlement data  and licensing data.

Don't Look Now: Outside Counsel Are Digging Your Data

The article also describes some collaborative projects in which Yahoo worked with Lex Machina to identify lower cost and highly experienced IP litigators with relevant experience in appropriate jurisdictions as an alternative to Big Law firms.  Yahoo is using Lex Machina for early case assessment, choice of venue, evaluating judges,opposing party and counsel. 

The implicit warning in this article, is that lawyers need to seize legal and business analytics in order to even be "in the game." Top tier firms may  find themselves losing clients based on  comparative legal analytics. Imagine the unspeakable embarrassment of going to a client pitch without your own custom analytics report and being confronted with  "time to trial" data and  early case  assessment strategies developed by the client's GC who used commercial services such as Lex Machina.

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