Samsung again leads LG Electronics and Apple as the most-sued patent defendant in 2016, according to the fourth annual Patent Litigation Year in Review report from Lex Machine, creator of the Legal Analytics program. Tech and pharmaceutical companies comprise the top 10, with Amazon, Asus, Actavis and AT&T among the top patent defendants.
The report examines key 2016 patent litigation trends and provides insights gleaned from quantitative data about federal district court cases, PTAB trials and ITC investigations. Among the report's key findings:
- In 2016, 4,537 patent cases were filed – a 22% decline from 2015 (5,819 cases).
- Patent filings were down in all Top 10 districts except the Northern District of Illinois (+51.5%), the Southern District of California (+13.8%) and the Southern District of Florida (+0.8%).
- The Eastern District of Texas continues to lead the nation with 1,662 cases – nearly 37% of all cases filed, yet a 34% decrease over the district's 2015 total (2,541 cases).
- Of that number, 1,119 cases were brought before Judge Rodney Gilstrap, who saw more new patent cases than the next 10 highest-ranking judges. This is the fourth year in a row that Judge Gilstrap had more patent cases of any judge
- The 15 parties that filed the most patent lawsuits in 2016 were all patent monetization entities (PMEs) except Whirlpool Corporation (ranked #15)
- Shipping and Transit, formerly known as ArrivalStar (107 cases), Uniloc (87 cases) and Sportbrain Holdings (75 cases) filed more patent suits than the next eight companies combined.
- Compensatory damages remain low, amounting to a mere 1.8 % of the terminated cases filed since the year 2000; approximately $3.4B million in compensatory damages were awarded in 2016.