Lex Machina Releases First-Ever Study of U.S. Copyright Litigation Trends

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Legal Analytics® Platform Gives Companies and Law Firms Easy Access to Valuable Copyright Data to Inform Winning Legal Strategies

Having access to comprehensive Legal Analytics data helps counsel weigh the benefits and risks of pursuing such litigation, make more informed legal decisions and formulate winning IP strategy.

Lex Machina today released the legal industry’s first Copyright Litigation Report, revealing trends and insights gleaned from thousands of copyright cases in U.S. District Courts from January 1, 2009 through June 30, 2015.

The data is based on Lex Machina’s Legal Analytics® intellectual property litigation platform. Lex Machina recently launched new copyright and trademark modules to supplement its popular patent offering. Corporate attorneys and outside counsel use Lex Machina to set strategy and win cases.

The copyright report analyzes filing trends, key decisions, and timing to key events, as well as settlement rates, damages and other data. It shows top districts by case filings, top plaintiffs and defendants and their law firms, top parties winning damages, and median awards of damages by district courts, and more. It also reveals relationships between findings (of infringement or in favor of defenses like fair use) and judgment types (e.g., default judgment, summary judgment or trial).

The report also leverages Lex Machina's proprietary technology to identify Internet file sharing cases filed against anonymous defendants. These cases are excluded from the main body of the report and analyzed in a separate section. Because file sharing cases have vastly different dynamics, the ability to filter them out provides attorneys with a clearer picture of overall copyright litigation trends, and more relevant and meaningful insights.

Armed with the report, copyright attorneys can make better strategic decisions related to forum planning, based on detailed analyses of districts and judges. They can make sound budgeting decisions using historical data about the timing of trials and injunctions, and identify top parties and firms to inform marketing strategies and outside counsel selection.

“Lex Machina’s Copyright Litigation Report – the first and only one of its kind in the legal industry – provides critical, data-driven insights and showcases the advantages that Legal Analytics brings to copyright law,” said Owen Byrd, Lex Machina’s Chief Evangelist and General Counsel. “In today’s digital economy, traditional legal research and courtroom experience can only go so far in creating a winning legal strategy. Having access to comprehensive Legal Analytics data helps counsel weigh the benefits and risks of pursuing such litigation, make more informed legal decisions and formulate winning IP strategy.”

Among the report’s findings:

  •     An erotic website, leads the list of Internet file sharing plaintiffs with 4,332 cases – more than 15 times as many cases as the next most litigious plaintiff.
  •     Top plaintiffs include the music industry, publishing, software and fashion.
  •     Top defendants include retailers, recorded music publishers and book publishers.
  •     About 64.1% of traditional copyright cases end with settlement, compared to about 90.6% of Internet file sharing cases.
  •     Median time to a temporary restraining order is 8 days; to a preliminary injunction is 1.2 months; to a permanent injunction is 7.5 months; and to trial is 2.1 years.
  •     Only 348 (2.3%) of the 14,669 copyright cases terminated since 2009 have resulted in compensatory damages on the merits other than via default or consent judgment.

The Copyright Litigation Report follows on the heels of Lex Machina’s first-of-its-kind Trademark Litigation report, which was released in May. To download the entire report, register online at: http://pages.lexmachina.com/Copyright-Litigation-Report-Registration.html

About Lex Machina
Lex Machina’s award-winning Legal Analytics® platform is a new category of legal technology that fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. Delivered as Software-as a-Service, Legal Analytics creates structured data sets covering judges, lawyers, parties, and patents out of millions of pages of legal information. This allows law firms and companies for the first time ever to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.

Lex Machina is used by established companies such as Microsoft, Google, and eBay, and prominent law firms like Wilson Sonsini, Fish & Richardson and Fenwick & West. The company was created by experts at Stanford University’s Law School and Computer Science department. Lex Machina was named one of the “Best New Legal Services” by readers of The Recorder in 2014 and 2015, and received the “Best New Product of the Year” award in 2015 from the American Association of Law Libraries.

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Valerie Chen
Lex Machina
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