les Nouvelles - September 2008

Patent Litigation Trends In Damages Awards, Success Rates And Time-To-Trial

Aron Levko

Principal, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, Chicago, Il, USA

Vincent Torres

Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, Chicago, Il, USA

With the current threat of an economic recession, commercial litigation and, in particular, patent litigation is picking up. This comes at a moment of heightened action in the patent arena: a recent damages award of $1.5 billion, eight other damages awards in federal district courts exceeding $100 million in the past three years alone, judicial decisions reducing the likelihood of permanent injunctions and scope of eligible damages,proposed legislation to reduce the availability of damages, and a continuing increase in patents granted and actions filed. Indeed, senior executives are facing a myriad of issues on the use of litigation to protect and monetize their patented products and ideas. Although the risks in patent litigation have increased, the damages awards remain significant. These issues also raise questions about companies’ patent positions, protection and enforcement strategies, and litigation tactics.

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