Lex Machina Releases 2014 Patent Litigation Year in Review Report

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Lex Machina, pioneer of Legal Analytics®, released its second annual Patent Litigation Year in Review report today, providing unparalleled depth of insight into the major patent litigation trends of 2014 and the forces behind them.

Our findings show a remarkably dynamic patent litigation environment, making it more important than ever for litigators on both sides of a complaint to have access to an easy-to-use analytics platform.

Lex Machina, pioneer of Legal Analytics®, released its second annual Patent Litigation Year in Review report today, providing unparalleled depth of insight into the major patent litigation trends of 2014 and the forces behind them.

The report paints a picture of a turbulent, if historic, year for patent litigation. The topic of patent reform has been hotter than ever in Washington. Congress declared patent reform legislation a top priority and the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on a record total of six patent cases, including the issue of attorneys’ fees for the first time in Octane and Highmark and handing down its first decision in more than 30 years on computer-based patentable subject matter in Alice v. CLS Bank (case nos. 2011-1301). Meanwhile, patent litigation filing trends took a surprising turn: the second half of 2014 saw a dip in the number of new district court case filings, while Patent Trial and Appeal Board activity swung upward compared to recent years.

As companies of all sizes increasingly recognize the importance of patents and intellectual property in driving growth, understanding the data behind business litigation has become indispensable to properly assessing strategic opportunities and risk, and budgeting accordingly. By combining data from PACER, PTAB, ITC, Orange Book ANDA applications and other sources to create structured, unbiased data sets covering judges, lawyers, parties, and patents, Legal Analytics® makes it possible for lawyers to predict likely outcomes and make informed decisions as they never have before.

“Our 2014 Patent Litigation Year in Review builds on last year’s inaugural report to reveal the most meaningful trends attorneys need to know about in order to maximize their chances of success in the months ahead,” said Josh Becker, CEO of Lex Machina. “Our findings show a remarkably dynamic patent litigation environment, making it more important than ever for litigators on both sides of a complaint to have access to an easy-to-use analytics platform that quickly enables them to be as well-informed and prepared as possible.”

Highlights from Lex Machina’s 2014 Patent Litigation Year in Review include:

Filing Trends: Although the Eastern District of Texas and the District of Delaware remain the most popular courts for new patent cases, both saw a net decrease from last year – a 4.9% drop for Eastern Texas and a whopping 41.2% decline in Delaware.

Case Timing: Both the Central and Northern Districts of California saw faster median times to claim construction (about a year) than the Eastern District of Texas, the District of Delaware, or the national average (all a year and a half).

Motion Metrics: Of transfer motions decided in 2014, the Eastern District of Texas and the Northern District of California both saw near parity in their grant/deny rates, while Delaware and the Central District of California both exhibited a higher motion rate.

ANDA Cases and Design Patent Cases: Neither kind of case has been affected by the general downturn in new patent case filings.

Judges: Judge Gilstrap ((E.D.Tex.) had 982 new cases in 2014, the most of any district court judge. Judges Sue Robinson (D. Del.), Leonard Davis (E.D.Tex.) and Richard Andrews (D.Del.) led in dispositive summary judgments.

Law Firms: Fish & Richardson led nationally by open cases, while Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell in Delaware and the Tadlock firm in Texas led in their respective districts. Whether for assessing competitors or finding new counsel, these law firm rankings provide a start for exploring how firm data can impact case strategy.

Parties: A large number of cases by eDekka and Olivistar placed them at the top of the plaintiffs list; Apple remained the top defendant.

Patents: The Alice v. CLS Bank decision coincided with a dramatic increase in §101 invalidations for unpatentable subject matter.

Damages: Damages awarded in 2014 included approximately $1.8b total in compensatory damages, with another $313m total in enhanced damages. Eastern Texas tended to award more damages than other districts, regardless of whether measured by ratio of damages awarded to cases filed, or simply by median damages.

PTAB and ITC: PTAB cases were on the rise and ITC activity remained steady since its peak years in 2010-2011.

To hear directly from the authors and have the opportunity to get your questions answered, sign up here for Lex Machina’s webcast to be held live on Thursday, March 26, at 11:00 am PST/2:00 pm EDT.

Register here to receive the full 2014 Patent Litigation Year in Review to see all the data and analysis.

About Lex Machina
Lex Machina provides Legal Analytics, a new category of legal technology that profoundly changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. Delivered as Software-as a-Service, Lex Machina creates structured data sets covering districts, judges, law firms, lawyers, parties, and patents out of millions of pages of legal information. Legal Analytics allows law firms and companies, for the first time ever, to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.

Lex Machina is used by companies such as Microsoft, Google, and eBay, and law firms including Wilson Sonsini, Fish & Richardson, and Fenwick & West. The company was created by experts at Stanford’s Law School and Computer Science Department. In 2014, Lex Machina was named one of the “Best New Legal Services” by readers of The Recorder, American Lawyer Media’s San Francisco newspaper.

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Nicholas Gaffney
Zumado Public Relations
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