NEW YORK - Reflecting upon developments currently underway in patent reform legislation, PwC US on Oct. 18 released a new report "2011 Patent Litigation Study: Patent litigation trends as the 'America Invents Act' becomes law" summarizing trends in the patent infringement litigation landscape. PwC reports that the annual number of patent actions filed has increased at an overall compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% since 1991, while annual median damages awarded ranged from $1.8 million to $15.6 million between 1995 and 2010.
The passage of the patent reform bill, the "America Invents Act," in March 2011 represents the most significant changes to the U.S. patent system in nearly 60 years. Among them: the conversion to a first-inventor-to-file system that alters the current patent system's approach to priority of inventorship and effective filing date. Specifically, it awards a patent to the first person to file a patent application on an invention with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). President Obama signed the bill into law on September 16, 2011.
"While the passage of a patent reform bill represents a significant change to the U.S. patent system, the elimination of the 25 percent rule, as well as rulings in a variety of other recent court decisions, demonstrates that the courts will continue to shape the future of patent law and play the primary role in how patent damages are calculated," said Chris Barry, a partner in PwC's Forensic Services practice.
PwC maintains a database of patent damages awards, collecting with specificity information about patent holder success rates, time-to-trial statistics, and practicing versus non-practicing entity (NPE) statistics (all from 1995 through 2010). This year's study adds industry classification and expanded NPE segmentation analyses.
Notable findings include:
"The 2011 study makes clear that patents continue to represent substantial value to U.S. companies, in protecting their proprietary products in the market, defending against asserted litigation and enforcing patents against claimed infringers. This is further evident in some recent high-profile patent portfolio transactions, including the Apple/Microsoft/RIM consortium's $4.5 billion purchase of Nortel's patents and Google's $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility," added Mr. Barry.
For more information, or to download a full copy of the report, visit http://www.pwc.com/en_US/us/forensic-services/forms/2011-patent-litigation-study.jhtml
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