Lex Machina Releases Annual Patent Litigation Year in Review Report

Among top findings: Samsung overtakes Apple as most-sued defendant; tech and pharma companies round out top 10

Menlo Park, CA—March 16, 2016 – Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company and creator of Legal Analytics®, today released findings from its third annual Patent Litigation Year in Review report. The report examines key 2015 patent litigation trends and provides insights gleaned from quantitative data about federal district court cases, PTAB trials and ITC investigations.

“Patent infringement disputes remained high-profile and hard-fought in 2015,” said Owen Byrd, chief evangelist and general counsel of Lex Machina. “While PTAB petitions and trials have become more important, parties continue to file new cases in district courts when critical patent rights are at stake.”

The Patent Litigation Year in Review report analyzes filing trends, key decisions and timing to key events, as well as settlement rates, damages and other data. It shows top districts by case filings, top plaintiffs and defendants and their law firms, top parties winning damages and median awards of damages by district courts. It also reveals relationships between findings (of infringement or in favor of defenses like fair use) and judgment types (e.g., default judgment, summary judgment or trial).

The report data was compiled using Lex Machina’s award-winning Legal Analytics® platform, which is used by many of the top IP law firms in the U.S., as well as major corporations such as Microsoft, IBM, Nike and eBay. Armed with the report, patent attorneys can make better strategic decisions related to forum planning, based on detailed analyses of districts and judges. They can also make sound budgeting decisions using historical data about the timing of trials and injunctions, and identify top parties and firms to inform marketing strategies and outside counsel selection.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • 5,819 patent cases were filed in 2015—up 15% from 2014 but down from 2013
  • 43.7% (2,540 cases) of all patent cases filed in 2015 were filed in the Eastern District of Texas— up 78% over 2014, and nearly as many cases as filed in the next three most active districts combined
    • Of that number, 1,686 cases were brought before Judge Rodney Gilstrap, who saw more new patent cases than the next nine highest-ranking judges
  • Samsung has overtaken Apple as the most-sued patent defendant in 2015 (64 cases versus 57 for Apple)
    • Tech and pharmaceutical companies comprise the top 10, with Amazon, HP, LG Electronics, Dell and HTC also among the top patent defendants
  • Austin Hansley was the largest plaintiff-side law firm with 425 cases filed
  • The parties filing the most patent lawsuits in 2015 are all patent monetization entities (PMEs)
    • eDekka remains the most litigious party for the second year in a row
  • Compensatory damages remain low, with only approximately $750 million awarded in 2015
  • November 2015 saw the highest number of cases filed in a single month (845), while December recorded the fewest cases filed since mid-2011 (281)

“Understanding the litigation landscape through data is essential in today’s climate,” said Brian Howard, Legal Data Scientist and author of the report. “With this report, we analyze the factors driving the key trends—demonstrating, for example, the relationship between high-volume plaintiffs and the trend towards E.D.Tex. But we also provide concrete information to help practitioners in areas like budgeting, motions practice and damages negotiations.”

Lex Machina will hold a webcast to cover the highlights of the report on March 24. Follow this link to register for the live event: http://pages.lexmachina.com/PatentYearinReview2015Webcast.html

To request a personal copy of the full report please register here: http://pages.lexmachina.com/2015PatentReportLP.html

About Lex Machina
Lex Machina’s award-winning Legal Analytics® platform is a new category of legal technology that fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. Delivered as Software-as a-Service, Lex Machina provides strategic insights on judges, lawyers, parties, and IP, mined from millions of pages of legal information. This enables law firms and companies to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, helping them to win cases and close business.

Lex Machina is used by established companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Nike, and eBay, and prominent law firms like Wilson Sonsini, Fish & Richardson, and Fenwick & West. Lex Machina was named one of the “Best New Legal Services” by readers of The Recorder in 2014 and 2015, and received the “Best New Product of the Year” award in 2015 from the American Association of Law Libraries.

Based in Silicon Valley, Lex Machina is part of LexisNexis, a leading information provider and a pioneer in delivering trusted legal content and insights through innovative research and productivity solutions, supporting the needs of legal professionals at every step of their workflow. By harnessing the power of Big Data, LexisNexis provides legal professionals with essential information and insights derived from an unmatched collection of legal and news content—fueling productivity, confidence and better outcomes.