Building off of Johnson & Johnson's recent decision to make all of its clinical data available to scientists around the world (favorable New York Time op-ed here), Dave Schwartz (Chicago-Kent) and co-authors make the case (here) that this same impulse should extend to empirical legal studies as well, particularly studies of patent assertion entities ("PAE"). An excerpt follows.
"Why is more information about PAE litigation not public? After all, the underlying data relates to litigation in the federal courts, and thus does not implicate privacy concerns like in the medical context. However, most of the raw data has been gathered and coded by private companies. For-profit businesses legitimately desire to use the information within their business and to prevent competitors and others from using commercially valuable information. That said, we believe corporate owners should release as much of the raw data (not merely descriptive statistics) as they can. To the extent that the raw data is not released or shared, society should be extremely cautious before relying upon it to make important public policy decisions."