Lex Machina Q3 litigation update shows effects of TC Heartland, Oil States on patent case filings
Although patent litigation levels through the first nine months of 2017 have largely remained consistent with patterns from recent years, it does appear that the number of patent suits filed in U.S. district courts has been on a slow decline in recent years. There were a total of 995 patent lawsuits filed in district court during 2017’s third quarter, an 8.4 percent decline when compared to totals from 2016’s third quarter. Year-over-year declines in patent suit filing were also seen in the first and second quarters of 2016 as well. As Lex Machina data scientist Brian Howard notes, 2017 continued a trend in which patent suit filings tend to drop in the first quarter of the year, rise during the second quarter and then fall again during the third quarter. “Historically, that’s a pattern that we’ve seen pretty consistently in the past few years,” Howard said.