PWC Report: 2017 Patent Litigation Study
This post originally appeared on PWC’s site on May 12, 2017.
Patent litigation continues sharp downturn, while grants bounce back The number of patent cases filed declined again in 2016, continuing a downward trend from the high point reached in 2013. Approximately 5,100 cases were filed in 2016, representing a yearover-year drop of 9%—and growing evidence of a clear shift in direction.
What’s behind the decline? One likely factor is an important change in pleading standards that took place in December 2015—namely, the abolishment of Rule 84 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and its use of Form 18, which simplified the process of bringing a suit for direct patent infringement (especially useful for smaller companies and solo inventors). With this change, the default pleading standard for patents will be the heightened plausibility standards as set forth in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal.