The Judicial Business of the U.S. Courts released its annual report this week on the business of the Federal Judiciary for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008. Overall, the report provides statistical data on the work of the Federal Judiciary, compares data for the current year to that for previous fiscal years, and, wherever possible, explains why increases or decreases occurred in judicial caseload.
In the world of IP, the number of cases sank by 11% in 2008. However, most of this drop is attributable to the reduction of new copyright cases (-26.5%). Trademark and patent cases, stayed relatively flat (-1.1% and +0.4%, respectively).
Claims of a patent litigation "explosion" continue to be unsupported by the latest data. Going back to 2004, the number of patent cases filed per year break down this way:
2004 - 3,075 patent cases
2005 - 2,720 patent cases
2006 - 2,830 patent cases
2007 - 2,896 patent cases
2008 - 2,909 patent cases
Considering that 9,573 IP lawsuits were filed in 2008, patent litigation made up only 30% of all IP litigation. Further, as 223,093 civil cases were filed in 2008, patent litigation made up only 1.3% of all litigation in the U.S.
In terms of IP cases commenced in 2008 by jurisdiction, the incoming caseload broke down this way:
(1) CD California - 1,394 new IP cases
(2) SD New York - 694 new IP cases
(3) ND California - 478 new IP cases
(4) ND Illinois - 385 new IP cases
(5) D New Jersey - 361 new IP cases
(6) ED Texas - 358 new IP cases
(7) ED Pennsylvania - 279 new IP cases
(8) SD Florida - 265 new cases
(9) MD Florida - 220 new IP cases
(10) WD Texas - 218 new IP cases
(11) ND Texas - 195 new IP cases
(12) SD California - 194 new IP cases
(13) SD Texas - 192 new IP cases
(14) ND Georgia - 179 new IP cases
(15) D Massachusetts - 170 new IP cases
For the 2,875 patent cases that were terminated in 2008, only 3.8% of the cases ever reached trial. 1,517 cases (52%) were terminated before pretrial, while 402 (14%) were terminated during or after pretrial. 847 patent cases were terminated with no court action.
To read more, and to download the (412 page) report, click here (link).