GAO Calls On Patent Office to Use Litigation Data to Improve Patent Quality

Report Relies on Lex Machina Data and Analysis

MENLO PARK, CA – August 22, 2013 – The U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) today released a report mandated by Congress on the consequences of patent litigation by non-practicing entities (NPEs). It calls for the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to examine trends in patent litigation and link this information to patent examination data to improve patent quality.

The GAO previously chose Lex Machina to compile data on a random sample of 500 patent cases filed 2007-2011 (100 per year) and to describe key characteristics of the plaintiffs and defendants. Lex Machina submitted its America Invents Act 500 report to the GAO in October 2012.

In its report, Intellectual Property: Assessing Factors That Affect Patent Infringement Litigation Could Help Improve Patent Quality, the GAO states that it has “95 percent” confidence” in the precision of the data and analysis provided by Lex Machina.

“Today’s report confirms the critical importance of litigation data and analytics to the public debate ,” said Lex Machina General Counsel Owen Byrd. “The GAO concluded that the data shows policymakers should consider patent quality, in addition to the identity of patent lawsuit plaintiffs, when considering improvements to the patent system. We agree.”

The Lex Machina report concluded that the behavior of NPEs is distinct from the behavior of operating companies that create products and services based on innovation covered by a patent.

Lex Machina provides legal analytics® to companies and law firms that enable them to formulate data-driven IP business strategies that win lawsuits and maximize IP value.

Contact: Owen Byrd 650-799-0359,

Download GAO Report