Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Patent Trolls Now File Majority of Patent Litigation, Academic Study Shows

Robin Feldman, Professor of Law and Director of The Institute for Innovation Law at UC Hastings Law, along with Sara Jeruss of Lex Machina, which provides online IP litigation data and analytics, and Tom Ewing, have released a major academic study looking at all of the patent litigations filed in four years, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012. The study involved analyzing data provided by Lex Machina on roughly 13,000 cases and almost 30,000 patents asserted in those cases. The study will be published in the UCLA Journal of Law and Technology.

From the study, “The AIA 500 Expanded: The Effects of Patent Monetization Entities” -- 

  • One of the most striking results is the following: in 2012, litigation by patent monetization entities now represents a majority of the patent litigation filed in the United States. Specifically, patent monetization entities filed 58% of the patent lawsuits in 2012. This is a sharp rise from 2007, when patent monetization entities filed only 24% of patent infringement litigations.
  • All of the 10 most frequent patent litigation filers were monetizers. Not one was a company making products.
  • The newest patents issued are also the ones most frequently litigated. This could suggest that people are increasingly applying for patents with the intent of filing lawsuits, rather than making products.
  • The analysis of the litigations also revealed another problem that has gone unnoticed in the literature. Mechanisms for notifying the public when patents have been asserted in litigation are woefully inadequate. Current mechanisms did not operate 2/3 of the time.
  • The study also found indications of stealth behavior, as well as a market for purchasing patents after they expire.

Details:

The study is available online: The AIA 500 Expanded: The Effects of Patent Monetization Entities. For more information about the study, professor Robin Feldman is available for interviews and reachable at feldmanr@uchastings.edu

Media Contact:

Alex A.G. Shapiro | shapiroa@uchastings.edu | (415) 581-8842

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