PWC has published the latest installment of its yearly patent litigation survey. This year’s study has a focus on recent changes and how those changes are affecting patentees. In particular, the PWC study provides eight key observations:
- Patent litigation declined by 13% in 2014. PWC asserts that this is driven by the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank decision, which is certainly a reasonable assertion. From our view, the number of patent litigations filed is bouncing back in 2015, however.
- Damages continue a downward trend with the median damages award at its second-lowest point in 20 years, and 2014 did not have any “mega” verdicts.
- Jury decisions are climbing. Jury decisions account for two-thirds of PWC’s identified trials in the last five years and the jury awards are considerably greater than awards from the bench.
- Consumer products lead in the number of patent litigations. Biotech and pharmaceutical cases have the highest median damages awards.
- Time-to-trial is slowing down, with the median showing to 2.4 years nationwide.
- The top five districts in terms of patent-holder favorability remains the same: Eastern District of Virginia, Delaware, Eastern District of Texas, Western District of Wisconsin, and Middle District of Florida.
- Non-practicing entities face increased headwinds. NPEs are 10% less successful overall and Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, in particular, is constraining NPEs.
- The Federal Circuit is modifying 52% of appealed cases. This jumps to 80% when looking specifically at damages.
As always, the PWC patent litigation study is worth your time. It can be read in its entirety here.