It won't shock you to hear that many companies see lawsuits as opportunities for profit. Patent trolls base their entire businesses around it, after all. And now, they may use technology to help that happen. Legalist, a young startup, is trying to build on the litigation finance world (already a $3 billion field) by using algorithms to determine when a company should invest in someone else's lawsuit. The software compares a suit against 15 million historical cases to calculate the likelihood that a lawsuit will succeed. If the action is likely to pan out, Legalist funds the case in return for a cut (as much as 50 percent) of either the damage awards or the settlement.