Lex Machina Releases 2015 Report on PTAB Litigation

Apple, Samsung Remain the Most Active PTAB Petitioners, While Communications and Semiconductors Are the Most Litigious Sectors

Menlo Park, CA — January 21, 2016 — Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company and creator of Legal Analytics®, today announced the release of its latest report on Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) litigation. The “Lex Machina Patent Trial and Appeal Board 2015 Report” leverages enhanced analytics and visualization tools, and draws upon a rich new dataset to provide unprecedented detail and insight about last year’s trials before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Aggregate data compiled in the report reveals trends in the different grounds for Inter Partes Review (IPR) and Covered Business Method (CBM) petitions. For example, of the terminated trials including 35 U.S.C. § 101 (conditions for patentability) among the grounds, 40 resulted in claims held unpatentable, while only one resulted in claims upheld. Twenty-five of the § 101 claims were denied institution and another 88 terminated after institution. On the other hand, terminated trials including 35 U.S.C. § 112 (conditions for specifications) claims were far less likely to be instituted (71 were denied institution with only 12 reaching a final decision and another 28 terminating after institution).

Other findings include:

  • The most experienced Administrative Patent Judges at PTAB have had more than 300 trials (Joni Chang, with 314 trials, and Kevin Turner, with 303 trials, as of January 14, 2016), but many have far fewer. It is common for a judge to have 20 to 50 trials open at a time.
  • Institution decisions are highly consistent around a median of 181 days, while times to final decisions are more spread out around of a median of 533 days (or about 1.5 years).
  • Apple has filed 252 PTAB trials (making it the leading filer of PTAB petitions with 197 IPRs and 55 CBMs) but has never appeared as a patent owner.
  • Samsung Electronics, the second most active petitioner, has filed a total of 155 PTAB trials (141 IPR and 14 CBM), and has appeared as a patent owner in 11 petitions.

The report highlights recent findings derived from Lex Machina’s Legal Analytics for PTAB offering, which offers access to data covering the entire lifecycle of PTAB trials, from the filing of the petition through institution to the ultimate disposition. The new dataset goes deeper than ever before, showing exactly which individual claims have been petitioned and the ultimate fate — upheld, found unpatentable or denied institution — of each and every claim. Unlike other publications and commentaries, Lex Machina’s dataset also includes the many petitions that never reach the institution decision, providing a more balanced view than statistics based only on post-institution trial totals.

“At Lex Machina, we’re excited about improvements to Legal Analytics for PTAB, and this report confirms the value of those innovations, offering unique insights into what is happening at PTAB with unprecedented levels of detail — and in a highly intuitive visual format,” said Owen Byrd, Chief Evangelist and GC, Lex Machina. “The report presents a number of highlights in current PTAB trends, but it also provides graphical explanations of the many enhancements we’ve made to Legal Analytics for PTAB so that users can easily generate the metrics that are most relevant to their own practice.”

The new, more detailed PTAB dataset allows filtering by PTO Technology Center so users can limit search results to cases involving particular technologies. For example, in 2015 patents involving communications (18% of terminated petitions) and semiconductors (17%) were far more likely to experience PTAB litigation than patents on mechanical engineering (10%) or biochemistry (8%). Information like this puts companies in the best position to realistically assess their exposure. It can also be used by practitioners looking for new clients in need of representation.

Lex Machina will hold a live webcast on February 23, where two PTAB experts — Amy Simpson, Patent Litigation Group Chair at Perkins Coie, and Naveen Modi, Global Vice Chair Intellectual Property at Paul Hastings — will discuss the contents of the new report with Owen Byrd. Participants can register here: http://pages.lexmachina.com/PTAB2ReportWebcast.html

To receive a copy of Lex Machina’s PTAB2 Launch Report, please go to http://pages.lexmachina.com/PTAB2Report.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 allows law firms and companies to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.

Lex Machina is used by established companies such as Microsoft, Google, 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.