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2017 PTAB rankings – the top petitioners, patent owners, law firms and attorneys

Michael Loney, New York

Managing IP analyses Docket Navigator data on PTAB petitions filed in 2017 to reveal the most active entities and law firms. Apple was not the top petitioner for the first time since AIA trials became available, while a shake-up has occurred among law firms

The overall level of petitions filed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) may have been fairly stable compared to the previous two years, but the rankings for top entities and law firms for petitions filed during the year reveals a shake-up has taken place.

The number of petitions filed at the PTAB in 2017 was one higher than the previous record, according to figures pulled by Managing IP from the Docket Navigator database.

Last year finished with 1,799 total petitions, beating 2015’s figure of 1,798 and 2016’s 1,758 petitions. You can read our analysis of filing trends (including figures broken down by year, half-year, quarter and month and by IPR, CBM and PGR) here.

PTAB filing by year 2017

Managing IP analysed data taken from the Docket Navigator database to determine the top petitioners, patent owners, law firms and attorneys at the PTAB for petitions filed in 2017. The data was pulled on January 5. It should be noted that there can be a lag before a patent owner appoints a law firm to represent it in the process, so not every law firm for patent holders may be present in the data, especially for more recent petitions filed.

For reference, you can see 2016’s PTAB rankings here.

Apple loses top petitioner spot

Last year was the first year that Apple was not the entity filing the most petitions.

Instead, Samsung was in first place, with 68 petitions filed. It was followed by Comcast (55), Huawei (52) and Unified Patents (46). Despite topping the rankings, Samsung’s filing was actually down on its 85 petitions filed in 2016.

Apple was down to fifth place, with 45 petitions – almost half the 86 petitions it filed in 2016. However, the downturn in Apple’s filing had been coming. It only topped the petitioner rankings in 2016 by one more petition than Samsung filed. Apple had filed a record 120 petitions in 2015.

Uniloc most-targeted patent owner

Uniloc was the most targeted patent owner in 2017, with 60 petitions filed challenging its patents. As data published by Managing IP later this week will reveal, Uniloc was also the top plaintiff in US district court patent cases filed in 2017, with 89 suits.

The entity was ahead in the PTAB patent owner rankings of Rovi (44), Genentech (43), Alacritech (39) and Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1 and Huawei (both 30). 

Top 50 PTAB petitioners in 2017
Top 50 patent owners in PTAB proceedings filed in 2017
3Huawei Device523Genentech43
4Unified Patents464Alacritech39
5Apple455Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 130
7Facebook357Schlumberger Technology29
8Halliburton328Intellectual Ventures II26
9Microsoft319Lone Star Silicon Innovations25
11Cisco Systems27-Maquet Cardiovascular20
-Teva2712Boston Scientific19
14Nokia25-Realtime Data d/b/a IXO19
-ZTE2515Oyster Optics18
16LG Electronics2416Longhorn IP17
22Cavium19-Siemens Industry15
24Amazon17-Papst Licensing14
-HiSilicon Technologies1725Avago Technologies12
26Motorola Mobility15-Blackbird Tech d/b/a Blackbird Technologies12
-RPX15-Lighting Science Group12
-SK hynix15-Maxell12
-Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies d/b/a Wabtec15-Regents of the University of Minnesota12
30Wabtec Railway Electronics14-Tessera12
31Celltrion1331ARRIS Enterprises11
-Dell13-Koninklijke Philips11
-Federal Express13-ON Semiconductor11
-Micron Technology13-Sony11
-Mylan13-Sound View Innovations11
36DISH Network12-US Philips11
-Merck1238Abraxis BioScience10
-Hewlett Packard11-Celgene10
-Power Integrations11-Nichia10
43AWSHC10-Semiconductor Components Industries10
-Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge10-Virginia Innovation Sciences10
-Laura and John Arnold Foundation10-Windy City Innovations10
-Nevro1046Fontem Holdings 1 BV9
-Western Digital10-Nokia Solutions and Networks OY9
50Edwards Lifesciences9-Stragent9
-GN Hearing A/S9
-Lenovo Group9
-RAI Services Company9
-RJ Reynolds9
-Shenzhen Huawei Investment & Holding Co., Ltd.9
-Snap Inc.9
-Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson9
-Toyota Motor9
-William Demant Holding9
Source: Docket Navigator

Top law firms for petitions and patent owners

The law firm filing the most petitions on behalf of petitioners at the PTAB in 2017 was Finnegan, with 96 petitions. This placed it comfortably ahead of Fish & Richardson in second, with 74, Baker Botts (67), Sidley Austin (60) and Paul Hastings (56).

Finnegan has moved up five places in this rankings compared to 2016, when Fish & Richardson was top with 125 petitions. Sterne Kessler, WilmerHale and Weil Gotshal have dropped out of the top five in the 2017 list.

The law firm representing the most patent owners for petitions filed in 2017 was Fish & Richardson, with 97. It moved up one place on the 2016 listings and was the only one of the top five that year to stay in the top five in the 2017 list.  


In the 2017 patent owner law firm ranking, Fish & Richardson was followed by Ropes & Gray, with 68, and Quinn Emanuel (63), Etheridge Law Group (53) and Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery (49).

After being top for patent owners in 2016 (representing them on 105 petitions), Sterne Kessler fell to eighth place, with 42 petitions. 

Top 50 law firms representing petitioners in PTAB proceedings filed in 2017
Top 50 law firms representing respondent firms in PTAB proceedings filed in 2017
1Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner961Fish & Richardson97
2Fish & Richardson742Ropes & Gray68
3Baker Botts673Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan63
4Sidley Austin604Etheridge Law Group53
5Paul Hastings565Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery49
6Banner & Witcoff546Oblon McClelland Maier & Neustadt48
-Cooley547Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner43
8Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr528Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox42
9White & Case509Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr40
10Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox4510Irell & Manella38
11Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan4111Alston & Bird33
12Alston & Bird3812Davidson Berquist Jackson & Gowdey32
-Perkins Coie3813Baker Botts29
14Haynes and Boone3614Durie Tangri27
15Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear35-Jones Day27
16Kirkland & Ellis32-Kirkland & Ellis27
-Polsinelli3217Silicon Edge Law Group25
-Weil Gotshal & Manges3218Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison24
19Duane Morris3119Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear22
20Greenberg Traurig2920Wolf Greenfield & Sacks21
-K&L Gates2921Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer19
22Erise IP27-Bragalone Conroy19
23Winston & Strawn26-Brown Rudnick19
24Oblon McClelland Maier & Neustadt25-Crowell & Moring19
25DLA Piper23-DiNovo Price19
-Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton23-Noroozi PC19
26Foley & Lardner2227Fitzpatrick Cella Harper Scinto18
-Goodwin Procter22-Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo18
-McDermott Will & Emery22-Sidley Austin18
30Klarquist Sparkman1930Devlin Law Firm17
31Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe1831Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton16
32Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer17-Perkins Coie16
-Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman1733Lowenstein & Weatherwax15
34Covington & Burling16-Mayer Brown15
-Hogan Lovells16-Pepper Hamilton15
36Baker & Hostetler1536Andrews Kurth Kenyon14
-Ropes & Gray1537Covington & Burling13
-Wolf Greenfield & Sacks15-O'Melveny & Myers13
39Keker Van Nest & Peters14-Robins Kaplan13
-Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati1440Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld12
41Fenwick & West13-Ascenda Law Group12
-Husch Blackwell13-Desmarais12
-O'Melveny & Myers13-Laurence & Phillips IP Law12
44Barnes & Thornburg12-White & Case12
Morrison & Foerster1245Baker & Hostetler11
46Steptoe & Johnson11-Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss11
-Sughrue Mion11-Morrison & Foerster11
48Andrews Kurth Kenyon10-Nelson Bumgardner11
Fisch Sigler10-O'Kelly Ernst & Joyce11
-Gibson Dunn & Crutcher10-Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe11
-Irell & Manella10-Steptoe & Johnson11
-Ravicher Law Firm10
-Rothwell Figg Ernst & Manbeck10
-Schiff Hardin10
Source: Docket Navigator

Law firms in most proceedings overall

Managing IP also combined the figures to assess which law firms were involved in the most PTAB petitions filed in 2017 combined, representing either petitioners or patent owners.

Fish & Richardson comfortably toped the combined list – it was involved in 171 PTAB proceedings overall. This meant it retained the top spot it had in 2016, when its figure was 207.

Finnegan was in second place, with 139, moving up one spot on the 2016 list (when Sterne Kessler was in second spot with 173). Finnegan was involved in 132 proceedings filed in 2016.

Rounding out the top five are Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (104), Baker Botts (96) and WilmerHale (92).

Top 50 law firms at the PTAB 2017 - petitioners and respondents combined
RankFirmTotalRepresenting petitionerRepresenting patent owner
1Fish & Richardson1717497
2Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner1399643
3Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan1044163
4Baker Botts966729
5Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr925240
6Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox874542
7Ropes & Gray831568
8Sidley Austin786018
9Oblon McClelland Maier & Neustadt732548
10Alston & Bird713833
11White & Case625012
12Banner & Witcoff61547
13Kirkland & Ellis593227
14Paul Hastings58562
-Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear573522
17Perkins Coie543816
18Etheridge Law Group53530
19Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery49490
20Irell & Manella481038
21Greenberg Traurig392910
-Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton392316
24Haynes and Boone38362
25Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer361719
-Wolf Greenfield & Sacks361521
27Jones Day34727
-Weil Gotshal & Manges34322
29Davidson Berquist Jackson & Gowdey32032
-Durie Tangri32527
-Erise IP32275
32Duane Morris31310
-K&L Gates31292
34Winston & Strawn30264
35Covington & Burling291613
-Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe291811
37Crowell & Moring27819
38Baker & Hostetler261511
-DLA Piper26233
-Fitzpatrick Cella Harper Scinto26818
-O'Melveny & Myers261313
42Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison25124
-Silicon Edge Law Group25025
44Andrews Kurth Kenyon241014
45Foley & Lardner26224
46Bragalone Conroy23419
-Goodwin Procter23221
-McDermott Will & Emery23221
-Morrison & Foerster231211
-Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati23149
Source: Docket Navigator

Managing IP also analysed the data to reveal the most active individual attorneys at the PTAB in 2016. Naveen Modi of Paul Hastings was top for petitioners, with 52. Brett Mangrum of Etheridge Law Group was top for patent owners, with 53.

Note, the data lists the attorneys by law firm. So if a practitioner moved firm during the year, they would potentially have two separate listings rather than one figure combining figures from both firms. 

Top 50 petitioner attorneys at the PTAB in PTAB proceedings filed in 2017
Top 50 patent owner attorneys at the PTAB in PTAB proceedings filed in 2017
1Naveen Modi, Paul Hastings521Brett A Mangrum, Etheridge Law Group53
2Joseph E Palys, Paul Hastings47-Ryan S Loveless, Etheridge Law Group53
3Bradley C Wright, Banner & Witcoff44-Sean D Burdick, Uniloc USA, Inc.53
-Frederic M Meeker, Banner & Witcoff444Scott A McKeown, Ropes & Gray49
-Heidi L Keefe, Cooley445Gabrielle E Higgins, Ropes & Gray44
-Scott M Kelly, Banner & Witcoff44-Mark D Rowland, Ropes & Gray44
7Jonathan Stroud, Unified Patents Inc.407W Karl Renner, Fish & Richardson43
8Joseph A Micallef, Sidley Austin398Nicholas T Peters, Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery42
9Joshua L Goldberg, Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner389David L Cavanaugh, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr39
10Eliot D Williams, Baker Botts34-Timothy P Maloney, Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery39
11W Karl Renner, Fish & Richardson3311Michael J Kane, Fish & Richardson37
12Andrew C Mace, Cooley3212Brian E Mack, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan34
13James P Murphy, Polsinelli3013James M Glass, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan33
14Henry A Petri, Jr., Polsinelli29-Jeremy J Monaldo, Fish & Richardson33
15Brian W Oaks, Baker Botts2715Christopher T L Douglas, Alston & Bird32
-David M Tennant, White & Case27-Dorothy P Whelan, Fish & Richardson32
-Jeremy Jason Lang, Weil Gotshal & Manges27-Michael R Fleming, Irell & Manella32
-Patrick D McPherson, Duane Morris27-Wayne M Helge, Davidson Berquist Jackson & Gowdey32
19James M Glass, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan2619Aldo Noto, Davidson Berquist Jackson & Gowdey31
-Roshan Mansinghani, Unified Patents Inc.26-Christopher Ricciuti, Oblon McClelland Maier & Neustadt31
21Ashraf Fawzy, Unified Patents Inc.2521S Benjamin Pleune, Alston & Bird29
-Lionel M Lavenue, Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner2522James L Etheridge, Etheridge Law Group28
23Eric A Buresh, Erise IP24-Jeffrey Huang, Etheridge Law Group28
-Phillip E Morton, Cooley24-Marc K Weinstein, Oblon McClelland Maier & Neustadt28
25David L Cavanaugh, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr23-Robert J Gunther, Jr., Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr28
26Charles D Larsen, White & Case2226Adam R Brausa, Durie Tangri27
27Benjamin E Weed, K&L Gates21-Daralyn J Durie, Durie Tangri27
28Chetan R Bansal, Paul Hastings1928Joseph M Paunovich, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan26
-Christina J McCullough, Perkins Coie19-Tim R Seeley, Intellectual Ventures26
-David T Xue, Duane Morris1930Andrew J Danford, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr25
-Jason A Engel, K&L Gates19-Kevin S Prussia, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr25
-Mark R Weinstein, Cooley19-Lisa J Pirozzolo, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr25
-S Benjamin Pleune, Alston & Bird19-Mark A Lauer, Silicon Edge Law Group25
34Charles B Klein, Winston & Strawn18-Owen K Allen, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr25
-Cory C Bell, Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner1835Eugene Goryunov, Kirkland & Ellis24
36Eimeric Reig-Plessis, Winston & Strawn17-Lisa M Mandrusiak, Oblon McClelland Maier & Neustadt24
-Jeffrey P Kushan, Sidley Austin17-Michael L Kiklis, Oblon McClelland Maier & Neustadt24
-Shamita Etienne-Cummings, White & Case1738James R Hietala, Intellectual Ventures23
39Alan L Barry, K&L Gates1639Gary N Frischling, Irell & Manella21
-Bradford C Schulz, Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner16-Gerald B Hrycyszyn, Wolf Greenfield & Sacks21
-David L McCombs, Haynes and Boone16-James T Wilson, Davidson Berquist Jackson & Gowdey21
-Michael T Hawkins, Fish & Richardson16-Rebecca A Whitfield, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr21
43Azuka C Dike, Banner & Witcoff15-Richard F Giunta, Wolf Greenfield & Sacks21
-Christopher T L Douglas, Alston & Bird15-Yite John Lu, Irell & Manella21
-Erika Harmon Arner, Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner1545Anthony M Insogna, Jones Day20
46Adrian C Percer, Weil Gotshal & Manges14-Lauren E Burrow, Alston & Bird20
-Amanda Hollis, Kirkland & Ellis14-Roberto J Devoto, Fish & Richardson20
-Anne M Cappella, Weil Gotshal & Manges1448Alfred R Fabricant, Brown Rudnick19
-Camille Sauer, Banner & Witcoff14-David A Gosse, Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery19
-Christopher P Carroll, White & Case14-Gregory Donahue, DiNovo Price19
-Garland T Stephens, Weil Gotshal & Manges14-J Steven Baughman, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison19
-James R Barney, Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner14-Jeffrey R Bragalone, Bragalone Conroy19
-Jared Radkiewicz, Banner & Witcoff14-Kayvan B Noroozi, Noroozi PC19
-Jeremy J Monaldo, Fish & Richardson14-Nicholas C Kliewer, Bragalone Conroy19
-Joshua Davenport, Banner & Witcoff14-Peter Lambrianakos, Brown Rudnick19
-Jovial Wong, Winston & Strawn14-Wallace W Wu, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer19
-Lori A Gordon, Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox14-William P Rothwell, Noroozi PC19
Source: Docket Navigator


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