The number of new patent
litigation cases filed in US district courts last year was up
12.4% on 2012, according to the new
Patent Litigation Year in
Review report from Lex Machina. Some 6,092 new cases
were filed last year, compared with 5,418 the year
The Eastern District of Texas
and District of Delaware had the biggest increases in cases.
The Eastern District of Texas had 1,495 new cases filed, up 20%
over 2012. Delaware had 1,336 cases, up 33% over 2012. In
contrast, the Central District of California had the greatest
decrease, with its 399 cases down 20% on 2012.
Trials were held in 128
patent cases last year, including 52 bench trials and 63 jury
trials, while 13 cases involved both bench and jury trials.
More than half of all trials were held in the District of
Delaware (with 25), the Eastern District of Texas (25) or the
Southern District of New York (17). Cases went to trial the
fastest in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, with its 255
day median time to trial roughly 12 times faster than the 2,423
days in the slowest district, the Western District of New
Judge Rodney Gilstrap in
the Eastern District of Texas was assigned the most new cases,
with 941. No other judge in any district was assigned more than
400. Judge Leonard Stark’s 399 cases ranked him
Fish & Richardson,
with 308 cases, led all national law firms ranked by open cases
filed between 2009-2013. Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell led
all Delaware firms, with 604 open cases. Ward & Smith led
Texas firms with 245 open cases.
All of the top 10
plaintiffs that filed the most new patent cases are defined by
LexMachina as patent monetization entities.
Melvino/ArrivalStar, Wyncomm and Thermolife each filed more
than 100 cases. In contrast, seven of the 10 top plaintiffs
with most patents asserted in open cases are operating
companies, including Ericsson, Finisar, Motorola Mobility,
Apple, Philips and Pfizer.
Apple was named the
defendant in 59 new cases, followed by Amazon with 50 cases,
AT&T with 45 cases, Google with 39 cases, Dell, HTC and
Samsung all with 38 cases, Microsoft with 35 cases, and LG and
HP both with 34.
Some 4,917 patents were asserted
in all the cases filed in 2013. Of these, 3,032 – or
61% – had not been litigated in the past 10 years.
ArrivalStar and Melvio jointly asserted six of the 10 most
frequently asserted patents, all involving systems for
monitoring or tracking vehicle status, travel or proximity.
The size of damage awards
continues to go up, with the average increasing 28% last year
and the median increasing 22%. The biggest damage award last
year was the $1 billion awarded to Monsanto from DuPont for
infringement of a patent for genetically modifies
New ITC investigations
stabilized at 41, compared with 2012's 42, after spiking to 70
in 2011. Of the six ITC Administrative Law Judges currently
serving, Charles Bullock has disposed of the most
investigations – 125 in total. Theodore Essex resolved
86 investigations, Edwards Gildea resolved 57, David Shaw
resolved 29, Thomas Pender resolved 23 and Sandra Lord resolved
The 2013 Patent Litigation
Year in Review can be downloaded