Only 1 to 2% of patents ever get litigated.
But, the topic is a critical one for startups. And, in one way or another, more of the client base for professional services are startups. Those kinds of services range from my field of marketing/advocacy communications to public relations.
So, we should all have down cold some of the recent facts about patent litigation. The good news is that PWC has published a comprehensive study on the developments. It was issued in 2015. Here you can retrieve that analysis.
Some interesting statistics from the PWC study:
- The number of patent lawsuits plunged by 13% in 2014. That was driven by "Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank." The bar has been raised on patentability and enforcement of software patents.
- Median damage awards are trending down. Actually there were no whoppers in awards in 2014. Jury awards have been much higher than bench awards.
- Time to trial was 2.4 years in 2014.
- Venue counts a lot. Best places for patent holders are Virginia Eastern, Delaware, Texas Eastern, Wisconsin Western, and Florida Middle.
From my experience with startups, one big legal/business question is: When is it possible and is it worth the cost to patent software. Here is a backgrounder on that.