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NPEs by the Numbers (Redux)

July 3, 2013

We appreciate the heads up from our colleagues at Retail Patent Litigation that PWC has published their annual patent litigation study.

Readers of this blog will find that most trends are not surprising (for example, the number of lawsuits filed by non-practicing entities (a/k/a patent trolls) is on the rise, even if the number of defendants per case has declined).

A few details:

* Annual median damages awards (in 2012 dollars) ranged from $1.9 million to $16.5 million between 1995 and 2012. The median damages award was approximately $4.9 million over 2007 to 2012.
*Damages awards for NPEs averaged more than double those for practicing entities over the last decade.
* The disparity between jury and bench awards is stark; the median jury award amounted to nearly 45 times the median bench award between 2007 and 2012.
* NPEs have been successful 24% of the time overall versus 34% for practicing entities, due to the relative lack of success for NPEs at summary judgment. However, both have about a two-thirds success rate at trial.
* The top five federal district courts (out of a total of 94) accounted for 39% of all identified decisions involving an NPE as the patent holder. The Eastern District of Texas accounted for 12% of NPE decisions.
* Not all NPEs are created equal. University/non-profit NPEs have the highest success rate among NPE litigants. Individuals’ median damages award is considerably lower than the median award of company or university NPEs.


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