Monday, March 2, 2020

Lex Machina Patent Litigation Report 2020

Lex Machina recently published its Patent Litigation Report 2020Law360 published a short piece on the report last week, noting that "the number of new cases filed in U.S. district [in 2019] remained stable from 2018," but that the PTAB "saw the number of petitions . . . slow," for a variety of reasons.  Law360 also published a couple of follow-up pieces (here and here).

The report itself discusses, among other matters, changes in the litigation landscape over the past decade, such as changes in most popular venues (D. Del. is now number one) and grounds for resolution (as you'd expect, subject matter was mostly irrelevant in 2010, but not anymore).  For present purposes, I'll just briefly mention the highlights regarding remedies:

1.  The report lists the total damages awarded each year top from 2010 to 2019, and the top 20 damages awards over that period (pp. 25-26).  The awards are not adjusted for inflation, and some of them were reversed on appeal.  Three of the top 20 were entered last year (and we've had a few big ones already this year, which presumably will make their way into next year's report).

2.  As for injunctive relief, if we omit consent and default judgments, there were 13 entered on the merits last year and 2 denied on the merits (p.27).  A few pages earlier (p.21, specifically), we see that there were 47 patentee wins at trial, 18 wins on summary judgment, 1 win on a motion for judgment on the pleadings, and 1 win on a motion for judgment as a matter of law.  My question:  did the prevailing patent owners in the cases in which there was no merits resolution on injunctive relief not request injunctive relief?  Did some of the defendants, having lost at the district court level, consent to the entry of an injunction as part of a settlement?  Do readers have any insights into this? 

3.  Unless I missed it, unlike last year's report there's no breakdown of damages types or discussion of preliminary injunctions.  For my posts from last year, see here and here.     

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