Lex Machina is excited to release its first ERISA Litigation Report. This report highlights data-driven trends and insights to help practitioners quickly analyze and strategize in this particular area of the law. The report focuses on the three-year time period from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018 to showcase recent trends in U.S. District Court. Additionally, this report focuses on Claim Denial and Delinquent Contribution claims. Highlights include: ERISA case filings declined from nearly 9,000 cases to about 6,600 cases from 2010 to 2018, a 26% drop. Delinquent contribution case filings have seen a significant decline from nearly 4,400 cases in 2010 to over 1,900 cases in 2018. On the other hand, claim denial case filings have risen over the same period, peaking at more than 4,000 filings in 2017, up from just over 3,000 filings in 2010. Northern District of Illinois had the most case filings during the 2016-2018 period (1698 cases), likely due to its strong union presence and large population. The next most-active districts were the Central District of California (1053 cases) and the District of New Jersey (1030). The top four most active ERISA judges in the US came from the District of South Carolina, [...]
Lex Machina is excited to release its first Contracts Litigation Report. In 2018, Lex Machina replaced and expanded its Commercial module to include non-commercial cases, including individual, class action, and government lawsuits. Now encompassing over 146,000 U.S. District Court cases from the last decade, Lex Machina’s Contracts Litigation Module represents the most comprehensive and accurate dataset available for analyzing breach of contract claims litigation in the federal courts. Highlights include: The top jurisdiction for federal contracts litigation case filings from 2016 to 2018 was the Central District of California (nearly 7.5% of filings) followed by district courts in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Florida. Nearly $5.2 billion in contracts damages, over $936 million in tort compensatory damages, and over $872 million in class action settlement damages were awarded from 2016 to 2018. During the three-year period from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2018, financial institutions and franchisors were among the most active contract plaintiffs. Lex Machina Legal Data Expert Karen Chadwick and Cleary Gottlieb’s Abena Mainoo hosted a webcast on May 7, 2019 reviewing the highlights and findings of the report. To view a recording of the webcast, click here. To request a copy of the [...]
Lex Machina announces the release of its Antitrust Litigation Report. In analyzing over 9,000 Antitrust cases included in Lex Machina’s database, practitioners can gain new information and plan their litigation strategy accordingly. Antitrust litigation is a complex and unique area of law and this analytical review showcases customized insights that supplement traditional research and accumulated experience. Highlights include: For antitrust cases terminating between 2016 and 2018, the median time to reach summary judgement was 2.5 years, and time to trial was three years. In Contested DOJ/FTC Enforcement cases, the median time to termination was only 127 days. Judge Cynthia M. Rufe (E.D.Pa.) and Judge Marianne O. Battani (E.D.Mich.) oversaw the most antitrust cases filed between 2016 and 2018 (249 cases and 139 cases respectively). The top plaintiff in Antitrust cases filed between 2016 and 2018 was FWK Holdings, LLC. FWK Holdings, LLC is a predecessor in interest for a now defunct pharmaceutical wholesaler claiming injury based on anticompetitive behavior by generic drug manufacturers. In 2018, federal courts approved over $3.6 billion in class action settlement damages. They also awarded over $515 million in antitrust violation damages and over $117 million in enhanced damages. Nearly $4.3 billion total damages were awarded [...]
Lex Machina released its annual Patent Litigation Report. This is a comprehensive report with data across the entire Patent module including patent litigation in federal district court and administrative hearings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). This report also includes Hatch-Waxman/ANDA trends as well as those involving High Volume Plaintiffs (plaintiffs who have filed more than ten cases in a single year). The Patent Litigation Report analyzes filing trends, key decisions and timing metrics, as well as damages and other data. It shows top districts by case filings and percentage, top parties and law firms, and damages metrics including top jury awards. It also includes PTAB filings, trends in instituted and final written decisions, and top PTAB law firms. Highlights include: As an effect of T.C. Heartland, the Eastern District of Texas is no longer the top venue for patent litigation. It has moved to second place behind the District of Delaware. Juul Labs, along with one of their claim defendants, The Electric Tobacconist, LLC, joined the most active parties list in 2018 and are members of the nicotine vaping industry. In 2018, PTAB saw the fewest institution decisions since 2014 and the fewest overall trials terminated since [...]
This is a follow up post to an earlier discussion of the Supreme Court’s venue-altering decision. One year later, it is clear that there is a significant shift in where patent cases are being filed, with many more cases in Delaware since TC Heartland narrowed the rules for venue. Texas, by contrast, has seen a significant drop in filings, but is still a favored arena for some plaintiffs. For the time being, Texas judges continue to have a significant impact on the patent litigation landscape.
In the final quarter of 2017, a total of 981 patent cases were filed in U.S. District Courts, a 1.3% decrease over the previous quarter’s total of 994 cases. Cases filed in the calendar year 2017 (4,057 cases) represent a decline of 10.3% over 2016 (with 4,529 cases). Despite the decline, Figure 2 shows that 2017 continues the pattern of relatively consistent monthly totals that has persisted since the dramatic spike in 2015 (caused by the end of Form 18).
This blog post focuses specifically on patent litigation trends; for a broader discussion of other litigation trends in Q3, see our update here. On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in T.C. Heartland, holding unanimously that, under 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) (the statute governing venue in patent suits), a domestic corporation “resides” only in its state of incorporation. Since that landmark decision, patent case filings trends have responded dramatically: the number of cases filed in the Eastern District of Texas has significantly declined and been overtaken by the number of cases filed in the District of Delaware. Fig. 1: Top districts by patent cases filed 2014-2017 Q3 Looking at a window of 90 days on either side of the T.C. Heartland, the change is stark. Before T.C. Heartland more than twice as many cases were filed in E.D. Tex. as D. Del.; but afterwards, it’s less than half. The number of cases filed outside of the top two districts is very similar. Fig. 2: Cases filed 90 days before and after T.C. Heartland Viewing the filing numbers on a week-by-week basis shows that the trend towards Delaware is not the result of a single period of [...]
For a more in-depth consideration of patent litigation trends around the Supreme Court’s landmark T.C. Heartland ruling, see this companion post. 995 patent cases were filed in the third quarter of 2017, a 12.3% decrease from the number of cases filed in last quarter. A drop from the second to third quarter has occurred in each of the past 4 years. Relative to the number of cases filed in 2016 through the third quarter, filings in 2017 are down 8.4%.
1,138 patent cases were filed in the second quarter of 2017, a 18% increase over number of cases filed in the first quarter of 2017. A similar increase from the first to second quarter has happened in each of the previous 4 years. Although the number of cases filed in the first quarter of 2017 was one of the lowest in the last 5 years, the first half of 2017 only trails 2016’s first half by 7%.
On Monday, May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued a slip opinion in the case TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group LLC (Dkt. No. 16-341). The court unanimously* held that, under 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) (the statute governing venue in patent suits), a domestic corporation “resides” only in its state of incorporation, consistent with its ruling in an earlier case, Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products Corp., 353 U. S. 222 (1957). The Court rejected arguments that the general venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c), which was amended post-Fourco and twice since § 1400, overrode the definition of residence in § 1400(b) with a more expansive one that made residence coextensive with personal jurisdiction. In doing so, the Court overruled the Federal Circuit’s decision in VE Holding Corp. v. Johnson Gas Appliance Co., 917 F. 2d 1574 (1990). * Justice Gorsuch did not participate in the decision. What Does That Mean and What Did TC Heartland Change? Why is a seemingly technical matter of statutory interpretation so significant? Before this decision, a plaintiff looking to sue a corporation for infringing its patent could choose any jurisdiction where the defendant did significant business. Large corporations doing business all over the [...]