In a lawsuit filed today (6 May) in the Delaware Courts, Thomson Reuters and West Publishing Corporation are suing Ross Intelligence for breach of copyright, claiming that Ross used data from legal research platform Westlaw to create its competitor product.
The claim alleges that while Ross was precluded from accessing the Westlaw content as a competitor, it “illicitly and surreptitiously” used a Westlaw licensee to gain access, and used a bot to extract the content en masse.
“Ross intentionally and knowingly induced a third-party called LegalEase Solutions, LLC (“LegalEase”)—a legal support services company—to breach its contract with West by engaging in the unlawful reproduction of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted content and distribution of that content en masse to ROSS,” the claim states.
“ROSS committed direct copyright infringement by reproducing and creating a derivative work based on Plaintiffs’ content,” it adds.
In addition to copyright breach, the claim also alleges that Ross tortiously interfered with West’s contract with LegalEase.
A lawsuit has been settled between LegalEase and West Publishing. However, LegalEase’s president and general counsel Tariq Hafeez told Legal IT Insider: “LegalEase was involved in litigation with West Publishing. That lawsuit has been settled to the mutual satisfaction of the Parties. LegalEase Solutions is a legal support services company, and has been in business for over 15 years. We live by our core values of integrity, being customer-centric and transparency. The claims made about LegalEase in the current lawsuit are inaccurate and misleading.”
David Crundwell, Thomson Reuter’s senior vice president of corporate affairs, said the company had nothing to add to the complaint.
Ross’s co-founder and CEO Andrew Arruda hasn’t yet returned our request for comment.