A 19 percent drop in the number of new patent lawsuits filed in 2014 can be traced to U.S. Supreme Court rulings that appear to be discouraging nonpracticing entities from bringing cases, but the reduction has had virtually no effect on the patent workload at major firms, attorneys say.
According to statistics compiled by Law360, a total of 4,839 new patent lawsuits were filed in 2014, down from 5,967 in 2013. However, attorneys say that hasn’t translated to any less work in the patent litigation trenches.
A trend toward more cases being heard at the PTAB could be contributing to the reduction in new suits, but the complicated and fast-paced AIA reviews still generate a significant amount of work for patent attorneys.
“When someone comes to them, accused infringers now have a new real option to pursue if they believe the patent is invalid,” Kia Freeman of McCarter & English LLP says.