Lex Machina - Legal Analytics for Intellectual Property Litigation

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Lex Machina—Latin that translates to “law machine”—is an interesting name for a legal analytics platform that focuses not on the law itself but on providing insights into the human aspects of the practice of law. While traditional legal research platforms—Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg, etc.—help guide attorneys to information about where the law is and how it is developing, Lex Machina focuses on providing information about how attorneys, judges, and other involved parties act in the high-stakes world of IP litigation.

Leveraging databases from PACER, the USPTO, and the ITC, Lex Machina cleans and codes millions of data elements from IP-related legal filings to cull information about how judges, attorneys, law firms, and particular patents are treated in various cases. Using that information, Lex Machina is able to offer insights into, for example, how long a particular judge typically takes to decide on summary judgment motions, or how frequently a particular judge grants early motions in favor of defendants. Law firms use the service to create client pitches—highlighting with hard data, for example, how many times they have litigated and won particular types of cases before particular judges or courts as compared to competing law firms. And companies can use the service to assess the historical effectiveness of their counsel and to judge the reasonableness of proposed litigation strategies.

For academic uses, the possibilities for engaging in empirical research with the covered dataset are great. A quick search of law reviews articles in Westlaw shows Lex Machina used in seventy-five articles published since 2009, covering empirical research into everything from the prevalence of assertions of state sovereign immunity for cases involving state-owned patents to effect of patent monetization entities on U.S. patent litigation.

If you are interested in gaining access to Lex Machina and are university and college faculty, staff or students directly engaged in research on, or study of, IP law and policy, you can request a free public-interest account here (Lex Machina notes, however, “to enable public interest users to make best use of Lex Machina, we require prospective new users to attend an online training prior to receiving a user account.”)

Posted by David R. Hansen (Dave) on Tue. May 5, 2015 10:22 AM
Categories: Uncategorized

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