01.20.18

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patent Litigation in the US is Down Sharply and Patent Trolls’ Demise Has Much to Do With It

Posted in America, Patents at 1:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Docket Navigator and Lex Machina both show a significant decline in litigation — a trend which is likely to carry on now that TC Heartland is in tact (not for just half a year but a whole year) and PTAB completes another record year

THE TREND is undeniable. The numbers speak for themselves. The sample set is large enough (thousands), it is complete, and several independent trackers are showing the same thing (independently).

Patents were not designed for litigation, which is merely a last resort. So decline in litigation may be bad news for patent lawyers, but not necessarily for inventors.

Michael Loney, in his latest roundup (primarily shut behind a paywall), shows that patent litigation is in its lowest level in recent history (in the US). It’s the same thing other data sources show. “Managing IP,” he wrote, “analyses 2017 data pulled from Docket Navigator to reveal: the overall patent cases filed in US district courts by half, quarter and month; the top 50 plaintiffs, defendants and law firms; and the breakdown of filing by district overall and pre- and post-TC Heartland” (which we've just mentioned and also mentioned several times last year in relation to cases in the Eastern District of Texas collapsing post-TC Heartland).

“Last year,” Loney continued, “4,522 patent cases were filed in US district courts, according to a search of the Docket Navigator database conducted by Managing IP on January 7.”

So patent litigation (the lawsuits ‘industry’) in the US continues to perish. Scientists can sigh in relief.

Similar data comes from Lex Machina. It wrote the following summary:

In the final quarter of 2017, a total of 981 patent cases were filed in U.S. District Courts, a 1.3% decrease over the previous quarter’s total of 994 cases. Cases filed in the calendar year 2017 (4,057 cases) represent a decline of 10.3% over 2016 (with 4,529 cases).

Much of it was from patent trolls — a ‘sector’ which is declining (all it ever does is threats and litigation, nothing else).

WiLANThe decline is of course good news. Unless one is in the business of litigation. On the face of it, Canadian patent bully WiLAN is looking ahead at more bullying — something it typically does down south (in the US). As IAM put it some days ago:

WiLAN, now part of the Quarterhill family of companies, kicked off 2018 with two patent deals with major Asian operating companies, TSMC and Panasonic. On January 8th, the NPE announced its wholly-owned subsidiary Cetus Technologies had acquired patents related to DRAM technology, as well as NAND flash memory, from Panasonic. The announcement was made four days after another deal with TSMC, which the company hailed as a “new type of transaction”.

Now that it targets “major Asian operating companies” (IAM’s term for non-trolls and actual producers) it may be a good time to start our next post, which focuses on Asia. A lot of patent trolling activity has shifted towards there.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  2. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  3. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  4. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  5. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  6. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  7. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  9. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  10. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  11. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  12. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  14. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  15. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  16. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  17. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  18. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  19. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  20. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  21. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  23. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  24. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  25. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  26. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  29. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



  30. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts