PWC has published the latest installment of its yearly patent litigation survey.  This year’s study has a focus on recent changes and how those changes are affecting patentees.  In particular, the PWC study provides eight key observations:

  1. Patent litigation declined by 13% in 2014. PWC asserts that this is driven by the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank decision, which is certainly a reasonable assertion. From our view, the number of patent litigations filed is bouncing back in 2015, however.
  2. Damages continue a downward trend with the median damages award at its second-lowest point in 20 years, and 2014 did not have any “mega” verdicts.
  3. Jury decisions are climbing. Jury decisions account for two-thirds of PWC’s identified trials in the last five years and the jury awards are considerably greater than awards from the bench.
  4.  Consumer products lead in the number of patent litigations. Biotech and pharmaceutical cases have the highest median damages awards.
  5.  Time-to-trial is slowing down, with the median showing to 2.4 years nationwide.
  6.  The top five districts in terms of patent-holder favorability remains the same: Eastern District of Virginia, Delaware, Eastern District of Texas, Western District of Wisconsin, and Middle District of Florida.
  7.  Non-practicing entities face increased headwinds. NPEs are 10% less successful overall and Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, in particular, is constraining NPEs.
  8.  The Federal Circuit is modifying 52% of appealed cases. This jumps to 80% when looking specifically at damages.

As always, the PWC patent litigation study is worth your time.  It can be read in its entirety here.