LexisNexis Acquires Lex Machina, Legal Analytics Provider for IP Litigation
At the end of November, legal research company LexisNexis announced its acquisition of legal analytics provider Lex Machina. Lex Machina, founded in California in 2010, provides legal analytics primarily as it relates to intellectual property (“IP”) litigation. Using its proprietary platform Legal Analytics®, the company mines IP litigation data to reveal information about judges, lawyers, parties, and patents. In-house counsel use this information to select outside counsel, and to increase and protect company assets. Law firm attorneys use the information to craft litigation strategy, close transactions, and prosecute patents. Lex Machina will continue to retain its name and management structure, but will be a wholly owned subsidiary of LexisNexis. Lex Machina views this deal as a means of expanding the reach of its technology beyond IP litigation. Based on a statement by Lex Machina CEO Josh Becker in August, the company is considering expanding to new areas such as commercial litigation and employment litigation.
Samsung Will Pay Apple $548 Million In Settlement
On December 3, 2015, Apple and Samsung filed a joint statement in federal court agreeing that Samsung will pay Apple $548 million to settle part of the patent infringement lawsuit that Apple brought against Samsung in April 2011. Apple had originally asked for over $2 billion in damages for infringement of the technology and packaging of its devices, and the jury had returned a verdict of $1.05 billion, which was later reduced during retrial. This settlement, however, will not end the long-standing dispute between the two companies because it was based on a partial judgment in Apple’s favor that was issued in September. If the partial judgment is altered in any way through future proceedings, Samsung claims that it has the right to seek reimbursement. The dispute is also not over because Samsung may have to pay Apple an additional $382 million if a jury finds that Samsung copied the packaging of Apple’s devices. Furthermore, Apple’s appeal of the invalidation of its “pinch-to-zoom” patent could affect the amount of damages that Samsung ultimately has to pay to Apple as well.
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams Appeal “Blurred Lines” Copyright Decision
This week, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams appealed the March federal jury decision that found that their hit song “Blurred Lines” infringed Marvin Gaye’s copyrights on “Got to Give It Up.” Thicke and Williams were ordered to pay $5.3 million to Gaye’s family, and they have already paid $3.2 million. The notice of appeal was filed in the Ninth Circuit, 5 days after United States District Court Judge John A. Kronstadt issued a final judgment following post-trial motions, and presents an interesting development because the damages award was unusually large for a music copyright case. Music copyright cases also do not typically progress this far in litigation, as most parties settle claims before any kind of verdict has been reached. The appeal will, do doubt, raise interesting debate on the differences between plagiarism and paying homage. The arguments on appeal are not yet available—detailed briefs will be filed in the upcoming months.