On Wednesday I attended the SOLO IP meeting at Olswang to listen to representatives from LexisNexis explain their product offering for solo and small firm IP professionals (though not before the IP Kat mentioned a grand scheme to change the face of legal research).
LexisNexis mostly chatted about:
- Patent optimizer, a service with automated claim checking among other analytical tools; and
- The Global IP Law service, a collection of IP information on “trademarks, patents, utility Models, industrial models and designs” with promises of copyright being added to the mix soon. The Lexis rep noted that this service was more of an accompaniment to guides such as the Kluwer Manual rather than a replacement for them (at least for now).
They also mentioned their document automation product HotDocs and, tangentially, the Martindale Hubbell offering in the UK (which doesn’t appear very popular here). Beyond these services, we discussed the new look and search functionality at the core LexisNexis site, and how using their services compare to free search services such as Google (at least on the news side of things). There was also some discussion about practice management software and Lexis’s attempts at bringing a fully integrated and comprehenisve solution together. I disagree with some of the comments from the audience however in that I much prefer using different and individually tailored software and services for each area as and when I need it — and only need an broader solution when it comes to email and project management. No need to push out a host of LPM software for this solo/small firm practitioner (concentrate on the research tools first).
When in law school in the US, I generally much preferred using Lexis (as opposed to Westlaw) for my legal research. This was especially true when it came to IP as they exclusively offer Nimmer on Copyright, though William Patry’s excellent (and recent) Patry on Copyright has gone a long way to bridge the gap for Westlaw. Of course now that I’m in the UK, a similar conflict exists with Copinger and Skone James (Westlaw) and Laddie, Prescott and Vitoria (Lexis).
But on the whole, when I moved to LLM studies in Scotland, I moved to the UK versions of both services, which I must say were pretty poor in comparison. With updated interfaces for both Lexis and Westlaw over the past two years, much has been improved, but I think that there is room for a lot of growth. I’d particularly like to see a service from LexisNexis in the UK similar to their LexisONE offering in the US for small firms with more practical pricing structures for those of us without an in-house law library and a huge legal publications budget.
For those interested, SOLO IP is trying to negotiate a pricing deal with LexisNexis and I heard rumour of free trials: enquire via the SOLO IP blog.
See also SOLO IP’s notes here.