Thomson Reuters Sues ROSS Intelligence For Using West Key Note System and Headnotes Data As A Jump Start

The complaint, filed today in U.S. District Court in Delaware, alleges that ROSS “intentionally and knowingly” induced the legal research and writing company LegalEase Solutions to use its Westlaw account to reproduce Westlaw data and deliver it to ROSS en masse.

ROSS did this after West denied it a license of its own on the basis that West does not give competitors access to its products, the complaint says.

“ROSS did so, not for the purposes of legal research, but to rush out a competing product without having to spend the resources, creative energy, and time to create it itself,” the complaint alleges. “The net result is that Plaintiffs are now being put in the unfair position of having to compete with a product that they unknowingly helped create.”

Source: Thomson Reuters Sues ROSS Intelligence Claiming Theft Of Proprietary Data | LawSites

The suit centers on ROSS allegedly striking a deal with LegalEase that included LegalEase using bots to scrap the West Key Numbers and Headnotes and then handing that data over to ROSS. The complaint is worth a read because it demonstrates that Thomson Reuters fully understands it has no claim of copyright in the actual court opinions. It mentions repeatedly that this suit is about TR’s proper copyrights in key numbers and headnotes. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

2017 – The Year to Free California’s Case Law “for Publication by Any Person” « Citing Legally

Alone among California’s branches of government, the state’s appellate courts remain stuck in a pattern of legal publication designed around books.  Other states now furnish unrestricted digital access to final, official, citable versions of their judicial precedent.  California does not.  The current “official reports” publication contract with LexisNexis runs until June 2017.  At that point the state’s judicial branch could do the same.  There are compelling reasons why it should.

Source: 2017 – The Year to Free California’s Case Law “for Publication by Any Person” « Citing Legally

The latest on open access to legal opinions from Peter Martin: Better Never than So Very Late? « Citing Legally

In today’s environment, reducing the time involved in bringing the Court’s decisions to print, whether preliminary or final, is no longer an important goal. Making them promptly available to the public, the legal profession, and the nation’s other courts in final citable form is and that requires a serious program of electronic publication.

Source: Better Never than So Very Late? « Citing Legally

As always insightful analysis from Cornell’s Peter Martin. I think we should all just listen to Prof. Martin and do what he says.