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2016 US patent case filing update



Michael Loney


With one month to go, 2016 is averaging 378 cases filed in US district courts a month – way down from a 508 monthly average for the whole of 2013, 418 in 2014 and 481 in 2015

US district court patent litigation by month
2013 2014 2015 2016
January 486 330 446 276
February 547 447 492 300
March 403 499 510 392
April 604 681 391 458
May 502 387 608 385
June 484 415 654 459
July 476 421 478 419
August 521 397 309 403
September 552 320 327 317
October 515 340 439 395
November 578 334 840 354
December 422 439 279
Total for year 6090 5010 5773 4158
Average monthly cases filed 507.5 417.5 481.1 378.0
Source: Docket Navigator

2016 US district court filing will finish down on recent years. According to figures taken from the Docket Navigator database, the 354 cases filed in November brought filing for the year to 4158 cases.

This means it would take a record month of filing in December for it to catch up to the full-year figures of 6090 cases in 2013, 5010 cases in 2014 and 5773 cases in 2015. For reference, the 840 cases filed last November was the busiest ever month. That was prompted by a change in filing rules (and may also have been responsible for 2016’s sluggish start, with filers bringing planned litigation forward).

As of the end of November, 2016 was averaging 378 cases a month – way down from 2013’s monthly average of 508 cases, 2014’s 418 cases and 2015’s 481 cases.

Managing IP will run a full analysis of 2016 filing – including revealing the top plaintiffs, defendants and law firms, as well as the trends influencing filing figures – early in January 2017. 

US district court lawsuits Dec 8.

US district court lawsuits line chart dec 8

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ICYMI: Our report on this week's #SCOTUS ruling in Star Athletica v Varsity Brands https://t.co/Rf3TWplNUrhttps://t.co/TrZ5YcvKQr

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@Oblon_IP @PatentPostGrant Congratulations Scott! #mipawards

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@KellyIPllp Well done to all at the firm!

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