PwC’s 2016 Patent Litigation Study provides an analysis of US patent infringement actions. These observations/trends can help executives, legislators, and litigators assess their patent enforcement or defense strategies.
For the second year in a row - and after many years of steady increases - the number of patent infringement cases filed dropped, perhaps reflecting increased anxiety over the fruits of such proceedings in the post-Alice environment.
2015 also showed a decrease in patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the first decline since 2008.
2015 annual damages award ($10.2M) reached the highest point in 10 years.
Consumer products still leads in number of cases; the biotech/pharma industries have the highest median damages awards.
Damages awards for Non-Practicing Entities are almost 3x greater than practicing entities over the last 5 years.
80% of district court decisions are appealed, and 53% of appealed decisions are modified in some regard.
Fee shifting in patent cases caught attention this year, with discussion focused on the merits and disadvantages of “fee shifting”— making the loser pay the legal costs of litigation.
Our analysis also continues to keep a watchful eye on emerging trends including infringement compensation, intellectual property dispute issues, the growing threat of trade secret theft, among others.