Patent cases filed in US district
|*as of December
In the first 15 days of December only 131 US patent cases
were filed in US district courts. This compares with the
whopping 260 cases filed on November 30 alone, and the 846
cases filed in the whole of November.
The slow December figures at the halfway stage of the month
put the month on course for about 260 cases. This compares with
the average monthly filing figure of 417 cases in 2014 and 508
in 2013. This year up to the end of November was running at 458
cases a month.
As of yesterday, 5628 district court cases had been filed so
far in 2015, which means the year is already ahead of
2014’s 5006 cases filed. Last year started off at
a brisk pace but fell away in the second half after the Supreme
Court’s Alice v CLS decision came out in
The year will end behind the record 2013 year, however, when
6,094 patent cases were filed.
The rush of cases filed in November was the result of
companies looking to file ahead of amendments to the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure that became effective on December 1.
This is, of course, also the reason that filing in December has
been slow, with many companies likely taking the view that any
complaints planned for December should be fast-tracked to beat
the new rules being implemented.
The amendments included removing the
ability to file a bare-bones complaint consisting of merely the
patent tile, patent number and an allegation of infringement.
They also introduced the concept of proportionality into
As I noted in
my analysis of the long-term effects of the new rules
(available to subscribers and triallists to Managing IP), it is
unclear what exactly will need to be alleged in complaints now.
Saranya Raghavan of Banner & Witcoff recently noted
that "it is unclear whether it is
sufficient for plaintiffs to identify at least one claim that
is infringed, whether plaintiffs must identify exactly which
claims are infringed, or whether plaintiffs need to provide an
element-by-element infringement analysis short of claim charts
provided as part of infringement contentions".
Another uncertainty is whether the new rules could be
applied retroactively to require plaintiffs filing complainTS
before December 1 to amend them to include more detail.
In the first few days of the amendments being in force, it
seems some filers were not up to speed:
While others believe the amendments have not led to a great
change in the detail in petitions: