Importance of Source Code Analysis Grows As Software Patent Litigation Explodes, iRunway Reports

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Software-Related Verdicts See Dramatic Increase with Damages Awards Surpassing $300 Million

iRunway, a technology research firm specializing in litigation support and patent portfolio analysis, has reported increased demand for source code analysis as software and Internet patent infringement cases and awards grow at a dramatic pace.

Software patent infringement cases appear to be among the fastest-growing types of litigation as industry players seek to establish a strong competitive position. Since 2005, major software and Internet-related verdicts have hovered consistently near the $100 million mark. But in the last three years, verdicts have grown substantially, with damages awards surpassing $300 million*. In fact, five out of the nine largest verdicts in patent infringement cases since 2006 have been in the software/ Internet domain and the aggregated damages in this domain is $4.8 billion*.

The importance of product or software source code as a source of evidence in a patent litigation has increased dramatically.

“Source code analysis is by far the most hard-hitting proof of infringement and is a definite game-changer in a rapidly growing number of cases,” said Animesh Kumar, Chief Solutioning Officer, iRunway. “There is no manual or guide book for software, and source code analysis is significantly more difficult than other forms of discovery. It requires highly specialized teams trained to find a few relevant lines of code in a sea of millions.”

Source code analysis, or reverse engineering of the code base, is a complex exercise that involves examining the entire code -- often tens of millions of lines -- to determine how it functions. Previously, to find evidence of patent infringement, attorneys and experts relied upon time-consuming and expensive ad-hoc methodologies to analyze a large code base. The results were not always comprehensive.

iRunway has developed a source code analysis process that enables it to unearth critical evidence and extract actionable insights from a tremendous amount of technical data more quickly than with traditional methods.

“About 90 percent of the law firms we work with are looking at source code analysis as the most efficient method of unlocking information, finding evidence and delivering the best possible outcome,” Kumar added. “The technical expertise and industry knowledge we provide has been enormously helpful in the effort to achieve detailed analyses. In the past two years, nearly all litigation we have supported with source code analysis took a favorable course after we found strong infringement evidence in the source code.”

About iRunway
iRunway helps corporations and law firms unlock and protect the value of patents by combining technology expertise with practical business insight to monetize patent portfolios and improve litigation outcomes. For more information about the company’s consulting model and in-depth analysis, visit


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George Shea
Shea Communications
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