McCarter partner Erik Paul Belt spoke with IAM Media regarding the increase in non-practicing entities (NPE) litigation in the United States. Belt has seen an increase in clients receiving letters from a mixture of NPEs over the past two years, and the patents being asserted are similar to the ones that had been invalidated under a 2014 Supreme Court decision, which caused the initial decline in US district court cases.
Commenting that the rise in litigation appears to be an outcome of the shift from brick and mortar to online platforms that was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Belt said, “It is easier for NPEs to scout out products online to claim alleged infringement. It is not just limited to NPEs either. It is much easier to find infringements, especially when compared to 10 or 15 years ago, and also easier to send out mass mailings and demand letters. Together, this contributes to the rise in lawsuits.”