This blog post looks closely at some of the key case filing and jurisdictional figures included in the report. For a complete copy of the report, please click here.
Fig. 1: New cases filed, 2007-2015, by year
In 2015, 5,819 patent cases were filed – a 15% rise from 2014. However, the 2015 total does not exceed the record year of 2013 when 6,113 patent cases were filed.
Fig. 2: New cases filed, 2007-2015, by month
Cases were filed unevenly throughout the 2015. The hottest month was November, when 845 new cases were filed – a new record month. In particular, there was a spike in case filings on November 30, 2015, corresponding to a rule change that eliminates Form 18, the form often used to plead direct infringement claims in patent cases. On that day, 259 patent cases were filed – a single-day record. However, December was unusually low – per month case filings have not dropped below 300 since mid-2011.
Fig. 3: New cases in 2015, by district
The Eastern District of Texas continues to lead the nation by number of new cases filed in 2015 – 1,427 cases were filed there in 2015, representing a 78% increase over the district’s 2014 total (the largest percentage gain of any district over last year).
The Eastern District of Texas saw 43.7% of the cases filed in 2015. For comparison, Delaware, the next most popular district, saw less than 10%. The Eastern District share is more than the combined totals for all districts other than the top 3 (E.D.Tex., D.Del., and C.D.Cal.).
Fig. 4: New cases in D. Del. and E.D.Tex., by year and plaintiff volume class
Much of the recent increase in litigation in E.D.Tex. stems from high-volume plaintiffs, or plaintiffs who have filed at least 10 cases within a year. These plaintiffs, shown in blue below, drive most of the variability or volatility in the case filings, both over time and between districts.