Oct 21, 2020Legal
Patexia Insight 93: Patent Litigation Up 23 Percent in Q3 of 2020

Update: Thanks to one of our readers who discovered an error in our ITC numbers for Q3. We have already updated the article with the correct data.

The third quarter of 2020 is over and despite the pandemic, so far this year has been one of the more active years for patent litigation. District court patent litigation was up 23 percent in the third quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019. In Q3, a total of 1,009 cases were filed, compared to 819 cases in 2019. Inter-Partes Review (IPR) was also up 36 percent in Q3 of 2020 compared to the same quarter last year (440 vs. 324). ANDA/Hatch-Waxman litigation was also up 18 percent in Q3 (64 vs. 54).

The following chart compares the quarterly filings for IPR, ITC, ANDA and patent litigation (district court). As shown in the chart, in Q3 a total of 22 new ITC cases were filed which was up almost 83 percent compared to 12 cases filed in the previous quarter (Q2 of 2020).

This confirms that the rising trend we observed in the previous quarters has continued in the third quarter as well (Patexia Insight 85). Our conversation with IP attorneys also confirms that many firms have also seen an increased workload in the past few months.

This reversal in patent litigation activity prompted us to work on the first Patent Litigation Intelligence Report. Our team of researchers and data scientists has already started working on the raw data and we expect to have the report ready in early January.

Last quarter we also released two other Patexia Insight Reports. For the first time, we published the Patexia ANDA Intelligence Report and last month we released our 4th Annual IPR Intelligence Report. Both reports were received well by corporations and law firms.

As always, we also looked at the number of issued patents in the third quarter. Back in April, we studied the impact of the recession triggered by COVID-19 (Insight 79). Recession will most likely impact the number of new applications as companies either delay or reduce their new filings but will have little or no immediate impact on issued patents in the short term. The Q3 numbers further confirm the above assumption as the number of issued patents more or less remained the same as Q3 of 2019.

The following chart shows the number of issued patents since 2015. Although the growth has decelerated lately, every year except 2018, the growth has been positive. Let’s see if this trend continues in 2020 as well.

During the previous quarter, our data science team also modeled IP spending and revenue for corporations and law firms. The model is evolving but so far, it covers patent prosecution, PTAB and trademark prosecution. Last week, we published the estimated patent revenue in 2019 for the top 10 patent firms by revenue (Patexia Insight 92).

In terms of the litigation venue, in the third quarter, the Western District Court of Texas has remained at the top with 662 cases (after PTAB), followed by Delaware District Court with 544 cases.

To summarize:

  • District court patent cases went up 23 percent in Q3 of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019
  • IPR filing was up 36 percent in Q3 of 2020 compared to Q3 of 2019
  • ITC was up 46 percent in Q3 of 2020 compared to Q3 of 2019 and it was up 83 percent compared to the previous quarter.
  • ANDA cases saw an increase of 18 percent in the third quarter compared to the Q3 of 2019
  • The number of issued patents was more or less unchanged in Q3 of 2020 compared to Q3 of 2020.
  • Western District of Texas is still the most active venue for the District Court Patent Litigation

In the coming weeks, we will continue our coverage of patent litigation as we prepare to release our first Patent Litigation Intelligence Report in early January. We will also cover more statistics about trademark prosecution and we plan to investigate the IP spending (specifically the US patent prosecution spending) by some of the most active companies. Stay tuned….

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