COVID-19

PTAB Activity During COVID-19

As part of our ongoing work to track the impact of COVID-19 on litigation, Lex Machina surveyed new petitions filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) that challenged patentability of claims in issued patents. We also reviewed recent PTAB trial activity to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown has impacted this administrative law body. Here is a summary of our findings: New petition filings are trending upwards. The number of new PTAB petitions increased in May, June, and July 2020 compared to those months in 2019. More distinct patents were challenged. The number of issued patents where one or more claims were challenged at PTAB increased in 2020 compared to 2019. PTAB-issued decisions followed statutory time frames. PTAB Administrative Patent Judges (“APJs”) issued institution decisions and final written decisions within time frames similar to 2019 and 2018, and close to or within statutory time frames. Methodology Lex Machina’s basic PTAB data (e.g., trial title, patent number, filing date, termination date, etc.) comes from the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s website. Lex Machina enhances this data in numerous ways, including granular annotations of PTAB trials at five stages of proceedings (petition, pre-institution, institution decision, post-institution, and final decision). [...]

By |2020-08-12T21:02:41+00:00August 6th, 2020|COVID-19, Legal Trends|

Continuing to Track New Litigation Caused By COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has caused businesses and individuals to face unexpected social and economic consequences, including disputes caused by COVID-19. Lex Machina is tracking disputes that have made their way into court. Previously, we tracked new litigation caused by COVID-19 for federal district court cases filed March 1 through May 2, 2020 and observed the following trends: COVID-19 case filings were trending upward. Contracts and insurance, followed by employment, were the leading practice areas with COVID-19 keyword matches. Contracts, insurance, and employment were the leading practice areas with confirmed case filings directly resulting from COVID-19. We continue to track cases filed in federal district court by analyzing new litigation filed May 3 through July 4, 2020, in order to determine whether the early trends persisted. Trend Updates Looking at March 1 through July 4, 2020: Case Filings Citing COVID-19 Keywords Increased in March and April, then Leveled Off in May and Plateaued in June. New cases with complaints citing COVID-19 increased week-over-week from three cases in early March to 138 cases in the last week of April. New case filings peaked in May (126-140 cases per week) and plateaued at a slightly lower level in June (102-115 cases per week). [...]

By |2020-07-23T17:31:42+00:00July 16th, 2020|Analytics Articles, COVID-19, Legal Trends|

The Impact of the Pandemic Shutdown on New Case Filings in State Courts

The COVID-19 pandemic halted non-essential social and economic activities including the day-to-day operation of courthouses. During the shutdown, courts adopted special guidelines for providing essential legal services (e.g., bond hearings, temporary restraining orders). Some courts encouraged the use of electronic filings while others emphasized physical dropboxes. Lex Machina surveyed its current state civil trial court modules to examine how the pandemic shutdown impacted new case filings in state courts, which handle a tremendous volume and breadth of matters. Our survey of new case filings in nine state courts during April and May 2020 revealed the following observations: Case filings in state courts were significantly reduced during the shutdown. For the nine state courts that Lex Machina reviewed, total case filings in April 2020 were down 53% compared to April 2019, and filings in May 2020 were down 45% compared to May 2019. Case filings for limited jurisdiction cases were more impacted than general/unlimited jurisdiction cases in the California and Texas courts that Lex Machina reviewed, suggesting that corporate litigation plaintiffs were less affected in pursuing litigation than individuals. Courts that permitted only essential civil cases to be filed during the pandemic shutdown saw a surge in new filings after courthouses [...]

By |2020-08-15T01:03:36+00:00June 25th, 2020|Analytics Articles, COVID-19, Legal Trends|

Lex Machina Launches the New COVID-19 Impact Analyzer App

The Lex Machina team is excited to introduce the new COVID-19 Impact Analyzer App (the “COVID App”). COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of our lives and the legal profession, and the uncertainty and speculation have been obstacles in moving forward. Lex Machina’s COVID-19 App can eliminate some of the guesswork in the legal profession by providing the data and analytics to help everyone understand how COVID-19 has affected federal district litigation. The COVID App provides data and analytics regarding: New total case filings New case filings by practice area Findings (i.e., court-enforceable determinations) Complaints that mention COVID-19 or related terms Lex Machina used a combination of machine learning and attorney review to present the most comprehensive and accurate data possible in its COVID App. The easy-to-use interface will allow individuals and organizations to search the data by week, beginning the week of February 24, 2020, and compare the data against previous years. Among the revealing insights that may be gleaned from the COVID App are: Case filings for insurance, employment, and securities cases consistently increased during weeks in March, April, and May 2020 compared to 2019. Findings at trial were down during weeks of March, April, and May compared to [...]

By |2020-07-23T17:31:51+00:00June 16th, 2020|Announcements, COVID-19, Product|

April 2020 Summary: Ongoing Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Litigation Activity in Federal District Court

Lex Machina continues to explore how courts are affected by the social changes due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Our analysis of court activity through March and the first two weeks of April in 2020 compared to the previous two years revealed the following: Case filings have not yet been significantly impacted year-over-year, though the overall total remains slightly down in 2020 compared to previous years. Case activity is down in 2020 compared to 2018 and 2019. COVID-19 is showing up in 2020 court records mainly due to general orders. However, 200+ cases filed since April 1st mention the coronavirus pandemic in the complaint. Now, we are looking at updated data from the first four weeks of April. To understand whether these trends continue, we compared court activity for the four weeks of April 2018, 2019, and 2020. Our analysis of court activity in April revealed the following: Year-over-year trends that continue through April of 2020: Case filings continue to not be significantly impacted year-over-year, and litigants continue to move forward with planned litigation, though the overall total remains slightly down in 2020 compared to previous years. Watching each specific practice area, we notice, however, that filings are trending up for some [...]

By |2020-07-23T17:32:04+00:00May 26th, 2020|Analytics Articles, COVID-19, Legal Trends|

Tracking New Litigation Caused By COVID-19

The social and economic changes due to the COVID-19 crisis are affecting the business and practice of law. In federal district court, we have seen a slowdown in court activity, but not in case filings. In this blog post, we investigate situations in which COVID-19 social and economic changes may be the driving forces behind new case filings. Here is a summary of the trends that we’ve observed so far: COVID-19 Case Filings are Trending Upward. New cases with complaints citing COVID-19 are increasing week-over-week since March 1, including 110% between the weeks of April 12-18 and April 19-25 alone and 16% the following week. Leading Practice Areas with COVID-19 Keyword Matches. Contracts and insurance are the two practice areas with the largest number of complaints filed in the specified time period that cite COVID-19 keywords, with 168 and 104 cases respectively, followed by employment with 42. Leading Practice Areas with Confirmed Case Filings Directly Resulting from COVID-19. Contracts, insurance, and employment are the three practice areas with the largest number of cases (128, 98, and 19 cases respectively) that (a) would not have been filed if not for the pandemic, and/or (b) have claims substantially exacerbated by the pandemic. [...]

By |2020-07-23T17:32:12+00:00May 11th, 2020|Analytics Articles, COVID-19, Legal Trends|

April Two-Week Update: Ongoing Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Litigation Activity in Federal District Court

Lex Machina continues to explore how courts are affected by the social changes due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Our analysis of court activity in March revealed the following: Case filings have not yet been significantly impacted year-over-year. Case activity is down. COVID-19 is showing up in court records mainly due to general orders regarding procedural changes. To understand whether these trends continue, we compared court activity for the first two weeks of April 2018, 2019, and 2020. Our analysis of court activity in April revealed the following: The trend continues into April: case filings have not yet been significantly impacted year-over-year. The trend continues into April: case activity is still down. The trend continues into April: COVID-19 is showing up in court records mainly due to general orders. However, 200+ cases filed since April 1st mention the coronavirus pandemic in the complaint. To understand whether the March trends continued into April, we compared court activity for the first two weeks of April 2018, 2019, and 2020 including 10 business days each year. The specific dates are April 1 to April 14, 2018; April 1 to April 14, 2019; and April 1 to April 14, 2020. Trends through April 2020 [...]

By |2020-07-23T17:32:21+00:00April 25th, 2020|Analytics Articles, COVID-19, Legal Trends|

Ongoing Impacts of the Coronavirus on Litigation Activity in Federal District Court

As part of our mission to bring openness and transparency to the law, Lex Machina is exploring how courts are affected by the social changes due to COVID-19. Our work requires us to review what is going on in federal district court every day, and we’d like to share our findings publicly. So, do we see the impact in the data? In terms of the effects of COVID-19 on litigation, it may still be too early to see significant changes in litigation activity, and there's a lot we don't yet know about how COVID-19 will eventually impact litigation. Here's what we do know so far. Summary Of Findings And Possible Explanations Federal district courts are changing their operating procedures such as using remote communication and moving to essential personnel only, but are not closing completely. There is still daily court activity. In order to gain a better understanding, we compared court activity for four full weeks during March 2018, 2019, and 2020. In order to include 20 business days each year, the specific dates are March 4 to March 31, 2018; March 3 to March 30, 2019; and March 1 to March 28, 2020. Here is a brief summary of [...]

By |2020-07-23T17:37:12+00:00April 7th, 2020|Analytics Articles, COVID-19, Legal Trends|