Reference line at 322 cases, representing January 2014 level.
In January, 2014, plaintiffs filed 322 new patent cases in U.S. district courts.
This total represents a sharp drop in total filings, both when compared to the prior month of December, 2013 (427) and month-over-month with January, 2013 (490).
The last month in which total filings was lower than 322 was October, 2011 (316). The American Invents Act (AIA) became law in September, 2011, which may have enticed plaintiffs to file in the preceding months and reduced total filings that October.
January has been the slowest month for patent case filings every year since 2007, which may account for some of the drop in filings last month.
We are working to analyze these filings totals. We will try to disentangle the impact of the AIA misjoinder provisions (one defendant per suit) from the rise of the non-practicing entity business model, as well as identify trends (if any) in operating company v. operating company patent case filings. Stay tuned . . . .