Monday, 25 August 2014

A view of US trends: the 2014 PwC Patent Litigation Study

PwC's 2014 Patent Litigation Study has now been published online. You can read it in full here. The study's main thrust is summarised in its subtitle: "As case volume leaps, damages continue general decline".  The study, which is limited to US litigation, is only 30 pages long, and isn't too challenging to read.

The report is not a snapshot of contemporary conditions but rather a reflection of trends, since it analyses a database of 1,985 US District Court cases handed down since 1995 and recorded as having reached final decisions at summary judgment and trial, as recorded in two Westlaw databases -- US District Court Cases and Combined Jury Verdicts and Settlements -- as well as in corresponding Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system records. It thus bridges the coming into force of the America Invents Act, a series of major rulings from the US Supreme Court and the emergence of the non-practising entity (NPE) as both a business model and a force in patent litigation (NPEs have a 25% success rate in US patent litigation as against 35% for businesses that work their own patents, though this figure obviously doesn't take account of the "successes" achieved by NPEs in securing cash settlements without the need to go to court).

Thanks are due to Chris Torrero for providing the link.


MaxDrei said...

The 25/35 % success rate is consistent with a properly functioning patent system.

Thus, if i) the only cases that go to trial are cases both sides think they can win, ii) the infringement issue is balanced 50/50, and iii) the validity issue is also balanced 50/50, then iv) after trial, patent owner will win, one time in four.

But is the 25/35 figure reported here a proof of proper functioning? Or is it just a coincidence?

MaxVal said...

An another interesting study performed by using MaxVal's Reassignment and Litigation Databank also shows that an NPE is 4x more likely than an operating company (OC) to assert a reassigned patent. Full report can be downloaded here.