Lex Machina’s Fourth Annual Patent Litigation Year in Review Report Shows 22 Percent Decline in Patent Filings in 2016

Among the top findings: Samsung, LG and Apple are top defendants; top 10 plaintiffs are all patent monetization entities; Eastern District of Texas leads with nearly 37% of all patent cases filed

Menlo Park, CA, March 2, 2017 – Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company and creator of the award-winning Legal Analytics® platform, today released findings from its fourth annual Patent Litigation Year in Review report. The report examines key 2016 patent litigation trends and provides insights gleaned from quantitative data about federal district court cases, PTAB trials and ITC investigations. Lex Machina executives will review the findings in a live webcast today.

“We found some interesting and surprising results in this year’s data, including a fairly dramatic decline in case filings across many of the top districts,” said Owen Byrd, chief evangelist and general counsel of Lex Machina. “While it’s too soon to tell whether the decline represents a sea change or a one-year anomaly, we will certainly be keeping a close eye on filing numbers in the year to come.”

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). This year’s report adds in two special sections: a review of the Eastern District of Texas, as well as a party profile of the leading plaintiff in 2016.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • In 2016, 4,537 patent cases were filed – a 22% decline from 2015 (5,819 cases)
    • Patent filings were down in all Top 10 districts except the Northern District of Illinois (+51.5%), the Southern District of California (+13.8%) and the Southern District of Florida (+0.8%)
  • The Eastern District of Texas continues to lead the nation with 1,662 cases – nearly 37% of all cases filed, yet a 34% decrease over the district’s 2015 total (2,541 cases)
    • Of that number, 1,119 cases were brought before Judge Rodney Gilstrap, who saw more new patent cases than the next 10 highest-ranking judges
    • This is the fourth year in a row that Judge Gilstrap had more patent cases of any judge
  • Samsung again leads LG Electronics and Apple as the most-sued patent defendant in 2016
    • Tech and pharmaceutical companies comprise the top 10, with Amazon, Asus, Actavis and AT&T among the top patent defendants
  • The 15 parties that filed the most patent lawsuits in 2016 were all patent monetization entities (PMEs) except Whirlpool Corporation (ranked #15)
    • Shipping and Transit, formerly known as ArrivalStar (107 cases), Uniloc (87 cases) and Sportbrain Holdings (75 cases) filed more patent suits than the next eight companies combined
  • Compensatory damages remain low, amounting to a mere 1.8 % of the terminated cases filed since the year 2000; approximately $3.4B million in compensatory damages were awarded in 2016

“Each year when we present patent litigation findings, the data reveal new insights and sometimes unexpected results,” said Brian Howard, Legal Data Scientist and author of the report. “That’s why the ability to track industry trends based on hard data is essential for patent litigators and executives, who would otherwise have to rely on anecdotal evidence and make key business and strategic decisions without having all the facts at their disposal.”

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.

Lex Machina will host a webcast today covering the highlights of the report. To register for the live event, please visit: http://pages.lexmachina.com/Webcast_Patent-Report-2016-21617_LP—Patent-Webcast—Social.html

To request a copy of the full report please register here: http://pages.lexmachina.com/Email_Patent-Report-2016_LP—Social.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 more, 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 was named “Best Legal Analytics” by readers of The Recorder in 2016, 2015 and 2014, 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. For more information, please visit www.lexmachina.com