Tag Archives: Lex Machina

U.S. patent litigation awards are highest since 2014; two cases accounted for 64% of the total damages; half were under $10M

$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.

Reasonable Royalties

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

 

Survey: Almost half of all 2015 patent suits were filed in E.D. Texas

The Eastern District of Texas (E.D. Tx.) is responsible for almost half of all patent suits filed in 2015, and one judge, Rodney Gilstrap, is handling 80% of the cases, 1,686 of them. 

This is part of the findings of the latest “Patent Litigation Year in Review” just out from IP analytics firm Lex Machina.

The 2,540 cases filed in E.D. Tx. in 2015 represent 43.7% of all cases filed. In 2014, that number was 28%, from which there was a 56% increase.

According to Brian Howard, a legal data scientist with Lex Machina, “at least part of the increase in E.D. Tx. suits is a result of high volume filers, those with ten or more cases, who either are located in Texas or may find E.D. Tx. courts and juries more hospitable.”

Plaintiffs

E.D. Tx. saw a 78.0% increase (1,113) in cases, and N.D. Tx. 84.1% (54), while D. Del. had a 42.4% decrease in cases (401).

Information about top plaintiffs who are mass filers, some of whom give NPEs a bad name, is difficult to obtain. One of them eDekka, LLC, was responsible for the most suits filed in 2015. Edekka was plaintiff on 101 suits in 2015.  In December the E.D. Tx. cited eDekka for attorney’s fees

The Court concluded that “eDekka repeatedly offered insupportable arguments on behalf of an obviously weak patent” and questioned whether eDekka thoroughly evaluated its claims against relevant law before initiating a large number of lawsuits.

Top defendants in 2015 according to Lex Machina included, in addition to Samsung and Apple, four pharmaceutical companies, Mylan, Activis, Amneal and Apotex. This is more than in the past two years, due largely to ANDAs, Abbreviated New Drug Applications for patents on U.S. generic drugs or bio-equivalents for an existing licensed medication. Howard said that these cases are often more about procedure than current or past infringement and are often settled.

Reasonable Royalties Rule

Median damages awards were up significantly in 2015 to $5,443,485 in 29 cases calculated on reasonable royalties, a more than 17-fold increase from 2013 when the median was $311,379. Lost profits awards were down to just $423,079 in five cases. In 2013 they were $5.5 million (see figure 47 on page 28 of the report).

Of the 2,488 IPRs filed since September 16, 2012, the start of the PTAB reviews, to the end of 2015, better than one in three were either denied institution (22%) or settled (13%). In 3%, all claims were affirmed. Of those instituted, all claims were found unpatentable 18% of the time. Only 0.1% of of the instituted petitions were claims amended.

IPRstats

Prior to institution, petitions were either settled or procedurally dismissed 28% of the time.

For a personal copy of the full Lex Machina 2015 litigation report go here.

To register for a live webinar to review the highlights of the report on March 24, go here

Image source: Lex Machina

E.D. TX patent suits up 165% in first half; NY and So Cal also gain

After a dip in filings for 2014, Texas is back as the undisputed leader in hearing patent suits filed by plaintiffs for the first half of 2015; New York and California were up, too.

Patent suits filed in the Eastern District of Texas for the first two quarters were up 165.7% over 2014, according to Lex Machina. In the Northern District of Texas, they were up 120.7%. Delaware was down 39.5% over the same period.

Surprisingly, the Southern District of New York was up 68.2% and Southern District of California was up 36.1%.

Lex Machina is reporting 2015 is on track to be a record with more than 6,000 cases filed.

It’s difficult to know why the move back to Texas courts has occurred, but the state has been traditionally patent-friendly, and patent holders today need any edge that they can get with new obstacles like “101” (subject matter) dismissals and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) making it more difficult to succeed. New York has not been known as particularly patent friendly or has Southern California.

For the highest volume plaintiffs, it was definitely Texas or nothing for the first two quarters of 2015 (see second graph below).

 Patent cases filings in H2 2014,  H1 2015, and percentage change

(showing top 10 districts)

new-B1-new-cases-by-district

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Plaintiffs filing 10 or more cases filed in June of 2015

(Most plaintiffs filed in the Eastern District of Texas, shown in dark blue) 

Top-plaintiffs

 

Image source: lexmachina.com

 

Study: Alice v. CLS Bank led to a strong increase in subject matter patent invalidations

The Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank International, a case involving computer software, has led to a marked increase in patents being invalidated under Section 101 of Title 35 the United States Code covering subject matter eligibility.

The findings are part of “2014 Patent Litigation Year in Review,” just out from Lex Machina, the litigation analytics firm.

fig 37

Surprisingly, according to the findings in the report, median damages awards based on reasonable royalties paid in 2014 was $3M based on 25 cases. This was the second highest amount since 2000, with only 2009 being higher.

39% of IPRs Settled before a Final Decision

The Lex Machina 2014 review indicates that of the 503 IPRs terminated between 2012 and 2014, 196 or 39% were settled before a final decision was made by the PTAB. (See figure 47 below.)

The 2014 litigation report examines the key axes of legal data and their interactions, drawing upon Lex Machina’s platform that combines data from PACER, PTAB, the U.S International Trade Commission (ITC) , and the U.S. Food Drug Administration (FDA) Orange Book on abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs).

fig 36

IPCU readers interested in receiving “2014 Patent Litigation Year in Review” can follow the link here.

fig 47

Lex Machina also recently announced the launch of Legal Analytics for trademark and copyright cases, which affords lawyers insights into the behavior of district court judges, opposing parties, and opposing counsel, enabling them to gain competitive advantage in trademark and copyright litigation.

Image source: Lex Machina


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