Lex Machina is excited to announce the release of its annual Patent Litigation Report. 

Last year was an exciting year for patent litigation as the landscape continues to change in the wake of a few key Supreme Court decisions and as the court system deals with the effects of the pandemic. The report looks at trends in federal district court as well as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). It focuses on 2020 and how it compared to other years given the changes caused by COVID-19.

Highlights from the report:

  • Yearly patent case filings in federal district court increased for the first time since 2015, with 4,060 patent cases filed in 2020. Petitions at PTAB also increase from 2019 with 1,538 petitions.
  • The Western District of Texas saw the most cases in 2020 with 857. Judge Albright, in particular, heard 793 cases, which consists of 19.5% of all patent cases in 2020. 
  • WSOU Investments LLC filed 182 cases this past year when it began asserting a subset of the many patents it acquired from Nokia and other tech companies.
  • Google was the top defendant in 2020 with 48 cases. Several tech companies made the Most Active Defendants list.
  • Rabicoff Law filed the most cases in 2020 with 356 cases, while Fish & Richardson appeared most often on behalf of defendants with 227 cases. Fish & Richardson was also the most active law firm at PTAB with 203 trials.
  • A slowdown due to the pandemic was evident in the timing and findings data. The median time to trial for cases terminated in 2019 was 135 days shorter than cases terminated in 2020. 
  • Despite the pandemic, $4.7 billion in damages were awarded in 52 cases, due in large part to big awards in The California Institute of Technology v. Broadcom Limited et al. ($1.1 billion in reasonable royalties) and Centripetal Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc. ($1.9 billion in reasonable royalties and enhanced damages).

View our infographic.

The report includes data-driven insights into the behavior of courts, judges, parties, and law firms. Legal analytics is used for planning, forecasting, and litigation strategy. The metrics in this report may help readers decide who to pursue as clients, whether to pursue a particular motion, or when to settle. This research supplements traditional legal research and anecdotal data for a competitive edge in litigation.

Lex Machina’s Sales Director, Neil Magenheim hosted a discussion of the report and patent litigation trends with Michael Flynn, Partner at Morris Nichols, Seth Lindner, Partner at Carter Arnett, and report author Geneva Clark, Patent Legal Data Expert at Lex Machina.

View a recording of the webcast.

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