$1.4 billion dollars was awarded last year in patent damages, the most since 2014.
Two cases were responsible for about two-thirds of that amount or $900 million, according the Lex Machina 2018 Litigation Report, leaving less than $500 million among 16 cases.
The biggest year for patent damages in the past decade was 2012, the heyday of patent value, which saw just under $4 billion awarded.
Sources told IP CloseUp the top 20 awards typically represent only a fraction of the actual infringed value of patents in a given year, and it is not clear how much of which of the awards have been paid.
Even though 2018 saw around the same quantity of cases awarding damages as in the previous five years, there was a greater total amount of damages awarded. The large increase in damages from the previous years is attributable to large jury awards of reasonable royalty damages.
Particularly, in Virtnex Inc. v. Apple the jury awarded plaintiff over $500 million in damages and in Kaist IP v. Samsung the jury awarded $400 million in damages.
Excluding these two cases, the total amount of damages awarded in 2018 was approximately $498 million. Looking at jury awards, Samsung was involved in three significant jury cases that awarded damages in 2018.
While ANDA cases did not yield jury awards in 2018, several healthcare/pharma/life sciences research companies were involved in significant jury trials, including Boston Scientific and Ariosa Diagnostics, as well as medical device producers such as Hologic and Minerva Surgical.
Half Under $10M
Among the top patent awards under $100 million, six were over $10M and nine or 50% of those reported were under. No data was provided on the number or amount of settlements or the cost to obtain them.
For the full report, go here.
Image source: Lex Machina