Dayton and Eagan Strike New Paths

A couple of releases from Thomson-West and Reed Elsevier that may interest Slaw readers.

The first radical search innovation in a while from Dayton is the use of semantic search methodology to enrich searching for prior patent art. Here is a slide show advert – which sadly doesn’t explain how it all works. And Kindles are coming to West’s monograph series.

The Reed press release reads:

LexisNexis has become the first provider of legal information services to integrate the power of semantic search technology with familiar Boolean search technology, giving the user greater control over the patent research process via a simple, streamlined user interface that matches their typical daily workflow.

Semantic search uses the science of meaning in language (“semantics”) to produce highly relevant search results. While semantic search engines are not uncommon, most contain limitations – including lack of transparency and user control – which can ultimately undermine the overall value of results. For example, they typically do not show precisely how search results are generated and the user
must simply trust that the right relevance between the original query and the semantic application are, in fact, appropriate to the intent of the searcher.

The new LexisNexis semantic search solution from overcomes such challenges to accomplish four breakthrough objectives in online

* Transparency: Each query is enhanced by the machine intelligence and shown to the user for their complete understanding and engagement.
* Increased control: Not only is the semantic search transparent, but users are in control with the ability to add, delete, increase or decrease the importance of all query words (concepts) in a unique visual query interface called a “querycloud.”
* Fully federated: While LexisNexis maintains one of the largest full-text patent and non-patent literature databases in the world, its semantic search platform can associate semantic searches to virtually any index, whether it resides internally or on the web.
* Scalability: The LexisNexis index includes semantic intelligence from more than 10 million full-text patent documents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office`s patent index, as well as Elsevier journal articles and other documents.

“With semantic search technology we have changed the very nature of online patent research by providing users with an additional means of researching patent and non-patent prior art,” said Peter Vanderheyden, LexisNexis vice president of Global Intellectual Property. “This alliance will provide users with tools to create more meaningful queries, allowing them to obtain more precise results by using semantic technology to enhance their Boolean search strategies.”

Meanwhile in autumnal Minnesota, West has bundled 30 of its books onto the Kindle, starting with the excellent Scalia/Garner collaboration:

Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, by Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner
1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School
Bankruptcy and Related Law in a Nutshell, 7th ed.
Beyond the Brief: Communication Strategies for Lawyers and Legal Marketers
The Complete CAN-SPAM Act Practice Guide
The Complete State Security Breach Notification Compliance Handbook
Contracts in a Nutshell, 6th ed.
Ending the Gauntlet: Removing Barriers to Women’s Success in the Law
Federal Income Taxation, 11th ed.
Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams, 2th ed.
Immigration Law and Procedure in a Nutshell, 5th ed.
Information Security and Privacy: A Guide to Federal and State Law and Compliance
International Taxation in a Nutshell, 8th ed.
Law School Without Fear: Strategies for Success, 3rd ed.
The Leading Lawyer, a Guide to Practicing Law and Leadership
Litigation is War
Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges
Management of Human Capital
Marketers Handbook of Tips and Checklists
Now What Makes Juries Listen
Oil and Gas Law in a Nutshell, 5th ed.
The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development
Paralegal Ethics Handbook
Political Activity, Lobbying Laws and Gift Rules Guide
Principles of International Law.
The Rainmaking Machine: Marketing Planning, Strategies, and Management for Law Firms
Rediscovering Lone Pine
The Woman Lawyer’s Rainmaking Game
Women Attorneys Speak Out
Writing a Legal Memo

Interesting to see if there’s a real market, though since they all exist digitally, porting them to this platform isn’t a bet the farm gamble.


  1. Semantic search has been promised to patent and prior art searchers for a long while now! Unfortunately when your search mechanism is a black box, it’s hard to be confident in the results. This idea of taking control of the semantic search algorithm by weighting query words is interesting, but seems time consuming – I wonder how many will take the time to use it. I’m still investigating the new TotalPatent semantic feature myself! My company’s website, hosts patent search tool comparisons, as well as an in-depth review of TotalPatent and other search systems. I’d be very interested to hear any feedback on the perceived usefulness of the new TotalPatent semantic search tool. I’d especially like to know if those who have tried PatentCafe like this one any better.