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.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Walk Down the CodeXStanford "Innovators Aisle" at ALM Legal Tech

I haven't been to Legal Tech in years. Over the years they seem to have evolved into a trade show which focused on the hot technology of the moment. In recent years eDiscovery was the dominant theme. But this year ALM entered a partnership with  Codex,the Stanford Center for Legal Informatics.
According to the press release:  "CodeX’s mission is to solve systemic problems in the law through the exchange of ideas around legal technology, which will empower individuals and impact our legal system for the better. A primary focus of its researchers is the development and implementation of computational law, the use of computers to translate legal rules and regulations at a moment’s notice."

 ALM  worked with the CodeX team to introduce new companies to a market of nearly 13,000 LegalTech attendees by providing packages to eligible companies that offer a free exhibit space in a new pavilion on the trade show floor, as well as the opportunity to host thought leadership presentations on the pavilion stage.

Innovation in Aisle 117 

Aisle 117 was not only a great place to see innovative products but it was a social hub for other innovation pioneers. When I arrived at Aisle 117 ran into  Ed Walters of Fastcase and D. Casey Flaherty of  "technology audit" fame. Flaherty had recently left Kia Motors and was pursuing innovation as an independent cost control consultant.  Aisle 117 did feature an interesting mix of new products. Not one of them involved ediscovery. There was a heavy bias toward IP related products. 

Patent Vector is a new take on using big data for IP. It provides ranking and mapping of patent influence using a database of US patents from 1976. 

IP Nexus is a kind of IP marketplace for inventors looking to protect their inventions. It links inventors to a legal advisers, experts, , Investors and purchasers. 

Plain Legal – is a cloud based collaboration application for IP filings. It automatically generating  USPTO filings and tracks deadlines. 

Docket Alarm – Yes another docket product. They are also focused on IP filings. They claim to be the only service that includes all of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board data. The do offer a cool looking dashboard of analytics with lots of filtering options. They promise  near real time alerts.
MeWe  is what we now call an “alternative service provider.” They are selling automated compliance services to corporations. They appear to currently be focused primarily on environmental and health compliance issues. They have a mobile app that enables field inspection –powered by a comprehensive library of rules and regulations.  Is focused on streamlining complex team based  M&A document drafting. DealManager allows lawyers to manage diligence reviews. “With DealManager, lawyers can (in real time) assign tasks, track review progress, collect diligence analysis, manage deal issues, and instantly generate diligence reports and disclosure schedules.” 

One400 Is a marketing firm for law firms which  focuses on everything from website design to social media optimization.
If the Innovation Aisle is any indication of the products which will be dominating Legal Tech in the future,  many past attendees who had dismissed Legal Tech as a gigantic eDiscovery show will have add Legal Tech back into their calendars.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Smartphones as the New "Swiss Army Knife:" A Thousand Apps in Your Pocket

Smartphones as the New 'Swiss Army Knife'
c.Thomson Reuters
The idea of the "Swiss Army Knife" has become a kind of shorthand for compact, handy, and versatile devices with functionality limited only by the imagination of the developers. According to Wikipedia, this ingenious little device was invented for the Swiss Army with a limited goal of providing a tool which could be used to cut open a rations tin and disassemble a Swiss Service Rifle. The original 1891 knife included a blade, reamer, can opener, and a screwdriver. By 2006, there were 87 different tools supporting 141 functions. There is even a version which includes a flash drive and Bluetooth capability...

 Thanks to the burgeoning world of apps, the owner of a smartphone soon realizes that this compact little device is no longer simply a phone. In fact, it may be least of all a phone. A mobile app is a software program designed to run on mobile devices. According to one source there are over 1.3 million apps available in the Apple App Store alone. Early smartphone apps mimicked the standard desktop functions and supported e-mail, contacts, and calendars...

Read the complete article in the January issue of  Practice Innovations