Stanford University Law School professor Mark Lemley coined the phrase “anecdata” to describe much of the information that was traditionally used in intellectual property cases. One lawyer heard from another lawyer that a particular judge usually ruled favorably toward alleged infringers, or someone heard it through the grapevine that a particular firm was adept at handling IP cases. This information was, of course, not always precise or accurate, and hinging an important aspect of a case on this sort of data meant taking a real risk at a time when that might not have been the wisest decision.
What, then, is the solution to this dilemma? Until recently, there had been a glaring lack of a solution that could provide lawyers with actionable data to help prepare for an intellectual property case. Seeing a problem in need of a solution, a group from Stanford raised funds from large companies like Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm and others and created a software solution that could mine and tag events to help provide the right kind of data that lawyers could use.