Patent case filings in the Southern District of Florida have declined by 21.5 percent between 2022 and 2023 from 79 to 62. However, a specific type of patent case filing has increased significantly in that district this year – patent cases against “Schedule A” Defendants.
As discussed in a previous blog post, in “Schedule A” cases, the defendants are typically identified as some variation of “the Individuals, Partnerships, and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule A.” In such cases, the plaintiff sues a large number of accused infringers, usually Chinese online sellers, who are listed by seller ID in a Schedule A attached to the complaint. The complaint is often filed under seal (along with an ex parte motion for injunctive relief, also sealed), and the plaintiff can file under a temporary pseudonym, such as “XYZ Corporation.” Frequently, the case resolves by default judgment against the defendants, which can include a permanent injunction and damages.
Despite the due process concerns over “Schedule A” cases, the number of “Schedule A” patent case filings has continued to increase, and not just in the Northern District of Illinois.
In the Southern District of Florida, the number of “Schedule A” patent case filings has jumped from nine in each of 2021 and 2022 to 24 in 2023, an increase of 167 percent. The number of “Schedule A” design patent cases filed in the district increased from 7 in 2022 to 18 in 2023, an increase of 157 percent.
In fact, more than 38 percent of patent cases filed in the Southern District of Florida in 2023 are against “Schedule A” defendants. 75 percent of these “Schedule A” patent case filings, or 18 out of 24 case filings, are design patent cases. Out of the 20 design patent cases filed so far this year in the Southern District of Florida, only two were not against “Schedule A” defendants.
Given how recently these cases have been filed, the majority remain open with a handful of case resolutions. It remains to be seen whether plaintiffs who file “Schedule A” cases in the Southern District of Florida will overwhelmingly prevail like the plaintiffs in the Northern District of Illinois.
Lex Machina will continue to follow these “Schedule A” patent cases and provide future updates.