2012 Patent Litigation Study

September 2012
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2012 Patent Litigation Study

At a glance

PwC maintains a database of patent damages awards extending from 1980 through 2011. We collect information about patent holder success rates, time-to-trial statistics, and practicing versus nonpracticing entity (NPE) statistics from 1995 through 2011. This year’s study also includes data related to ANDA litigation.

Last year marked the most dramatic change to the US patent system in nearly six decades, with the passage of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), which converted the patent system from a 'first to invent' to a 'first inventor to file' system. The AIA, signed into law in September 2011, indeed brought significant changes in certain areas. But it did not address the calculation of damages in patent infringement matters, as had been suggested in prior drafts of the bill.

The absence of reform guidance in this regard leaves patent damages issues squarely for the courts. Additionally, the elimination of the 25 percent rule of thumb and rulings in other court decisions demonstrated that the courts, not Congress, would continue to shape the future of patent law and play the primary role in how patent damages are determined.

Recognizing these developments and business leaders’ continuing deep interest in intellectual property matters, PwC maintains a database of patent damages awards extending from 1980 through 2011. We collect information about patent holder success rates, time-to-trial statistics, and practicing versus nonpracticing entity (NPE) statistics from 1995 through 2011. This year’s study also includes data related to ANDA litigation. Our analysis yields a number of observations that can help executives, legislators, and litigators assess their patent enforcement or defense strategies, as well as the impact of NPEs.