Patent Litigation Trends: Survey Results

PatentLawPic124Fulbright & Jaworski recently released some results from its survey of 300 GC’s (and AGC’s) at large US & UK companies. Results:

  • Very large companies (>$1B) are much more likley to be hit with charges of patent infringement than are smaller companies (<$100m).  Unlike smaller companies, the very large companies also claim that the quantity of charges are on the rise. A small percentage (~3%) of companies with a revenue greater than $100m have defended against more than 50 claims in the past three years.
  • For most defendants, the major concern is not the potential for an injunction, but rather the cost of litigating.
  • The very large companies are also more likely to be on the plaintiff side asserting their own patents. The report claims a close correlation between company size and likelihood of enforcing its patent claims through litigation.

The report is free after you provide your contact info: Link. I can also e-mail a copy to you.

 

6 thoughts on “Patent Litigation Trends: Survey Results

  1. A couple interesting points about litigation if you’re a big company.

    1. Companies with over 1B in revenue had an 87% chance of defending at least one patent suit in the past 3 years. Those same companies had a 49% chance of defending 6-10 such suits. See last table on page 42. Factoring in industry specific issues, if you’re in manufacturing or a couple other high risk industries & you’re big enough, you’re virtually guaranteed to be in litigation.

    2. “Companies with over 1B or more in revenue were much more likely to have brought infringement suits (44%)” – page 45. Unfortunately, the study doesn’t break down the numbers further (if you’re bigger than $10B in revenue, then you had a X% chance of being a patent asserter).

  2. David French writes:

    Another interesting parameter might be to distinguish between patents asserted in litigation that went through the patent office quickly, and those that were delayed for some years.

    A patent issuing many years after it was filed has a prospect of being asserted against infringers who are heavily invested in using the technology. This may shift the statistics towards litigation and larger damage assessments.

  3. The number of infringement cases per company is meaningless by itself. It is the company size divided by the number of cases that is important.

    If big companies have more infringment cases per dollar of revenue than smaller companies, that is something interesting, or indeed, if they have less.

    Tufty, I don’t see how you can claim Dennis’ post is stating the obvious, since it isn’t at all obvious to me if Dennis meant the raw numbers were reported (which would be IMO be silly, but not exactly unsurprising), or the ratios.

    It’s like the people who keep harping on about how small companies find patents to cover their products more expensive to procure than big companies, without showing evidence that this is true, because they don’t take into account how many patents are filed per dollar of company size.

    Regards, Luke

  4. The patent litigation is a challenge for the global market access. The infringement cases are great in numbers among various large companies. A large amount is lost in these cases which in directlt goes on the customers.

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