On the other hand, both the number of patent cases filed and the number of patents granted continued to grow rapidly in 2013—by 25% (to almost 6,500 cases) and 7% (to almost 300,000 patents), respectively, over 2012. And mega cases continued to make headlines, including one involving an “at-risk” launch of a generic pharmaceutical that was settled mid-trial for $2.15 billion, and another matter involving medical devices where post-trial bench consideration added substantial punitive damages, potentially bringing total damages to over $1 billion. The year 2013 also saw the continuation of the multi-year “smartphone wars,” both in district courts and before the International Trade Commission (ITC).
Recognizing the ongoing critical, strategic interest in intellectual property matters, PwC gathers and maintains a database of US patent infringement actions. We collect information on liability outcomes, damages awarded, time-to-trial, trier of fact, type of entity, industry, district court and judge. Our primary case data relates to the 19-year period of 1995 through 2013. This year, in response to reader requests, our 2014 Patent Litigation Study adds a set of statistics on the outcome of patent infringement appeals to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. We analyzed this data with a focus on helping executives, legislators, and litigators assess patent enforcement or defense strategies—as well as the impact of nonpracticing entities.