Patexia Insight 163: Patent Litigation Remains High in the Post-Pandemic World
Later this month, we will be publishing our Patent Litigation Report, the third in an annual series covering patent litigation in US district courts. This report, which is the first of eight or possibly nine reports planned for 2023, focuses on the period from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2022. It analyzes high-level statistics on patent litigation filing trends, the most popular districts for patent litigation, and provides a detailed analysis of case statuses and outcomes.
The report evaluates all stakeholders involved in patent litigation by ranking the best in different categories based on performance and activity. Today's insight reviews the patent litigation trends over the past six years.
The following chart summarizes patent litigation activity in district courts over the past six years, including the latest data from 2022:
As seen above, the filing activity has been moderately declining until 2020 when it grew by 15.7% compared to 2019. 2021 remained busy for patent litigators repeating almost the same number of cases as in 2020. The data we collected from 2022 shows that a total of 3,766 cases were filed from January 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022. This shows a drop of 4.7% from the previous year but is still higher than the cases filed in the years before 2020.
Patexia Insight 44 showed that over 80% of IPR (Inter Partes Review) filings are directly related to an ongoing district court case. Many defendants in district court patent infringement cases file IPR petitions to invalidate the patent they have been accused of infringing as part of their defense strategy. This means that high numbers of district court cases significantly impact IPR trends. The following chart shows IPR petition filings over the last six years:
As shown above, the relationship between district court cases and IPRs was evident, particularly in 2020 when the increase in district court litigation led to a 14% increase in IPR. In 2021, there was a moderate decrease, but the number of petitions was still higher than in 2019. Meanwhile, the latest data from 2022 show a moderate increase in petitions.
When it comes to ITC (International Trade Commission) Section 337 Investigations, a total of 73 complaints were filed, which is higher than any other year and continues the positive growth trend that began in 2020. In our 2022 ITC Intelligence Report, we also highlighted some important lateral moves among active attorneys and law firms expanding their practices with experienced ITC attorneys. These firms are taking advantage of the growth opportunity.
Earlier this week, we learned that all key ITC attorneys at AMS Trade moved to Polsinelli. That is one of the most important moves of recent years. AMS (Adduci) historically has been an ITC volume leader. This move will make Polsinelli a key player when it comes to the ITC practice. The following chart summarizes ITC filing activity over the past six years:
Our engineering and data team are currently working to identify connections between cases filed in different courts and venues as part of coordinated campaigns for patent litigation. This will also be displayed in our Litigation Analyzer tool, allowing users to see the big picture and understand how companies behave in patent infringement lawsuits.
Patexia is planning to publish eight Intelligence Reports in 2023 and is also considering adding a new report covering the Top Women in IP. If your company or firm is a member of Patexia Concierge, you will have complimentary access to all of our Intelligence Reports as soon as they are released. Here is the publication schedule for this year:
Stay tuned as in the following weeks we will dive deeper in the statistics related to our upcoming Patent Litigation Report and publish studies conducted with our Litigation Analyzer tool covering the behavior of big tech companies in patent litigation.