The team at LexisNexis was kind enough to give me a preview of what’s coming. As one might expect, they have been working on their response to WestLawNext. Response is not actually the right word, since they have obviously been working on this for some time.

The service is yet to be branded, so for now I’ll refer to it as The New Lexis (Lexis 2.0 sounded too cliche).
The new interface has some similarities to WestLawNext. I attribute that to Google though, not West. Lexis did the right thing and 1) Asked the customer what their pain is, and then 2) Listened. The result is a simple search box, with a few easily understandable search options below it (think ‘Advanced Search’ on Google). Below the search box is “My Workspace” with a box for saved info (currently in a folder view) and a box for search history. Both of these functions have a persistent presence in the upper right hand mini-navigation, just like … you guessed it – Google. Once you get into search results, they have taken a KM approach to presenting information. Being a KM guy, this makes sense to me. The filtering and tabbed browsing options make navigating intuitive.
The Real Differences
This product will come out in a phased roll-out starting in the Fall. The product will be rolled out by market segment and each iteration will be slightly different to meet the needs of that market segment. This obviously recognizes the fact that a 30 year old solo practitioner will have different practice needs than a BigLaw partner. Score one for Lexis.
The BIG question is always pricing. Although they couldn’t give me numbers yet (understandable) they did say ‘predictability’ will be the theme. The team actual read Greg’s Open Letter posted here on 3 Geeks. Just like law firm clients, lawyers don’t like surprises when it comes to a bill. So their service will be priced on a subscription basis instead of per search.
My 2 Big Questions
  1. Are you guys going to finally integrate all the cool stuff you own so the cool new functionality in Patent Semantic Search (future blog post) will be in The New Lexis? Good thing I was sitting down for the demo. They have already experimented with that tool and it’s on the road map. Say What? So much for stumping them on that one.
  2. When are you going to get your marketing $#!+ together? I pointed out that I found the Patent Semantic Search and iPhone apps by accident. Their reply: Why do you think we’re showing this stuff to you? Ouch. Another point for Lexis.
I see strong potential in the direction Lexis is taking here. The New Lexis and the eye towards integrating their various services makes a lot of sense to me. Time will tell, but at this point I’m seeing definite progress.
  • Toby,

    Thanks for reporting on this.

    "Are you guys going to finally integrate all the cool stuff you own so the cool new functionality in Patent Semantic Search"

    Great question! That's what OBA members want to know too.


  • I saw the new Lexis semantic search in TotalPatent in Lisbon a couple months ago. I must say I was skeptical to their claims – totally transparent semantic search and turning the whole of patent content into a artificial intelligence. These are big claims. Well, I can't say if they actually did those things,but it sure seems like they did. The semantic search is the best I have seen and the fact that they actually encourage users to interact with thins intelligence thing is actually really a different and effective experience. I asked the sales rep in Lisbon to enter a few patent queries I was working on and the semantically inferred words were spot on on both queries. It's usually pretty easy to make these semantic engines miss, but I must admit the resulting query boxes (I forget what they call them) were quite good.

    Does anyone know the name of the semantic search vendor Lexis is working with? Do they own the company or are they a partner?

    Anyway, I am anxious to see this progress.


  • I believe LEXIS bought Dolphin Search around 2002. The project I was working on then was considering using their product in a search application.

  • Anonymous

    My recollection is that Lexis teamed up with PureDiscovery.

  • How does the new Lexis differ from WestlawNext?

  • Did you know that The Empire Strikes Back is 30 years old today? I'm guessing that your headline isn't a coincidence?

  • Ed: You're good. You're real good.