Patent News

Jan. 8, 2015

Bloomberg: Tech Companies Remain the Biggest Targets as Patent Suits Drop, by Susan Decker

This article originally appeared in Bloomberg on January 8, 2015.

Technology companies like Google Inc. and Apple Inc. remain the biggest targets of patent lawsuits even as the overall litigation totals dropped last year, according to a study released today by Unified Patents.

The number of patent lawsuits filed fell 17 percent, to 5,002 from 6,030. Of those, 63 percent involved hardware, software and networking companies, according to Unified Patents, a group of technology companies that pool resources to fend off patent claims.

In the high-tech sector, 83 percent of lawsuits were filed by companies that depend on licensing patents for most of their revenue. That compares with 18 percent of suits in the health-care field and 27 percent of cases in other industries.

“Almost all of them are companies whose business model is to do patent licensing” or assert patent rights in court, said Shawn Ambwani, chief operating officer of Los Gatos, California-based Unified Patents.

The number of lawsuits has become a focal point as Congress considers legislation creating new rules for patent litigation only four years after passing the most sweeping overhaul of the U.S. patent system in five decades.