Thursday, January 05, 2006

IN 2005, PATENT LITIGATION . . . DECREASED? It's true, according to LegalMetric, a litigation analysis firm located in St. Louis. In a recent press release, it was reported that the number of new patent infringement cases in the U.S. dropped in 2005 by over 10 percent. This drop is highly unusual, since, in each year from 1994 to 2004, the number of patent cases over the previous year have always increased.

This drop seems to be specific to patent cases as well. For example, the number of trademark cases continued to increase from 2004 to 2005.

According to LegalMetric's study,

the number of patent cases filed in 2005 was over 200 fewer than expected, based upon trends from previous years. Possibly explaining the drop in newly filed patent litigation in 2005 was a decrease in newly issued patents of 13 percent. According to LegalMetric, a decrease in issued U.S. patents from year to year is also a rare event, since the number of patent applications continues to rise.

For more information, contact Phil Meisinger (

UPDATE: Peter Detkin, Managing Director of Intellectual Ventures also analyzed litigation trends and published a presentation entitled Patent Reform: Winners, Losers and Prospects...And Myths. Other interesting statistics include:

- Only 2% of patent litigants over the last 5 years are "patent trolls;"

- Settlement rates in patent lawsuits have held steady over the last few years;

- Patent lawsuits per issued patent have been on the decline since 1997; and

- The growth rate of patent litigation is less than other litigation areas, such as copyright, personal injury, bankruptcy, and labor.

See Bill Heinze's I/P Updates blog

See Solveig Singleton's IPcentral weblog

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