Patexia Insight 96: Patent Litigation up 17% and IPR up 14% in 2020
2020 Pandemic brought so many changes to our life styles. Some speculate that the huge rise in patent litigation was due to COVID-19. While pandemic might have had indirect impacts, some entities and their management single-handedly contributed significantly to this rise. We have identified the super-active entities, responsible for this rise in our first Patent Litigation Intelligence Report. This week we will review the litigation activity in 2020 and compare that to prior years.
Excluding ANDA/Hatch-Waxman cases, in 2020, a total of 3,917 patent cases were filed which was 16.8 percent higher than the 3,353 patent cases filed in 2019. While this number is still below the peak of 2013 or 2014, it is higher than the past 3 years.
We have measured the activity and performance of all stakeholders including plaintiffs, defendants, and their representatives (law firms and attorneys) in our first Patent Litigation Intelligence Report. In order to find the true activity, we had to trace back many limited liability companies to their point of origin and identify their parent companies. This helped us identify a handful of entities that had higher than usual activity levels.
In Patexia Insight 44, we showed that more than 80 percent of IPR filings are directly related to an active district court case. This unexpected rise in district court litigation had a direct impact on IPR activity. In 2020, a total of 1,443 IPR petitions were filed which was 14 percent higher than 1,271 petitions filed in 2019. Given that there is usually a 6 to 12 months delay before defendants file IPR petitions, we anticipate that IPR activity will be even higher in 2021.
ITC Section 337 also saw an 8 percent increase in 2020. During the year, a total of 54 cases were filed compared to 50 cases in 2019.
In terms of active patent litigation venues, out of 83 district courts with patent cases, Western District of Texas with 871 was the most active court followed by Delaware District Court with 592 cases.
Patexia has expanded its Intelligence Reports and plans to publish seven reports in 2021. This means three additional reports for this year. Here is our publication schedule for this year: