The number of new patent cases in the Bay State increased by 36 percent in 2015 after dropping precipitously the previous year.
The number of new patent lawsuits filed in Massachusetts federal court increased by a third in 2015 over the previous year, a report found, while law firms with large Boston bases ranked among the most active in the patent space nationwide.
The rise in patent lawsuits in the Bay State also came as new patent cases fell in some of the other venues across the country popular with plaintiffs, including the District of Delaware and two California districts. Overall, the number of new patent cases increased by 15 percent nationwide, the Lex Machina report found.
One reason for the uptick in Massachusetts may be the flexibility of the state’s patent rules, said Lee Carl Bromberg of McCarter & English LLP, the national law firm that filed the most patent lawsuits in the country in 2015, according to Lex Machina. The rules give parties in patent lawsuits more freedom to determine the pace at which the litigation proceeds, potentially making Massachusetts a more appealing venue, he said. “Maybe people are straining under the rigid rules that have been set up in other venues, such as the Northern District of California,” Bromberg said.
Bromberg credited the firm’s combination of technical expertise and litigation experience for its busy 2015. “That approach, plus a strong track record of wins for our clients, has led to more people knocking at our door asking us to take a case,” he said. The firm’s numbers are also helped by its frequent status as local counsel in Delaware and New Jersey cases. McCarter’s main office is in Newark, New Jersey, though its Boston office has approximately 75 attorneys.