LegalMetric, an intellectual property case law research and analysis company, recently released its list of district courts in which the most patent cases were filed in 2009. That the Central District of California and Eastern District of Texas came in first and second, respectively, probably won’t surprise any IP litigators. Our own Eastern District of Virginia (the “Rocket Docket”) placed tenth.
LegalMetric Director of Research Greg Upchurch, in a conversation with this author, stated that LegalMetric does a bulk download every quarter of every case identified in PACER as a patent case. The company’s business focuses on analyzing IP decisions so as to enable litigators to evaluate how particular courts, judges, and issues may impact their case. Statistics like the 2009 patent filings list are a happy by-product of that business.
I think it’s a great thing that there can be any degree of data mining from PACER and hope that the federal courts will continue to expand the ability to do queries and analysis. In our electronic world, the data is there; the challenge is finding, organizing, and making good use of it.
Those interested in more information about the opportunities and challenges of litigating patent cases in the Eastern District of Virginia can check out past publications on that topic by my colleagues Robert Angle and Dabney Carr (listed under “Publications” on each’s page or accessible directly here and here) and contact one of this blog’s authors.