Thanks to its status as the world’s most valuable company, Apple was the number one target of these attempted lawsuits – with the Eastern District of Texas being the favored location for patent trials on account of their tendency to side with trolls and award large sums of damages.
Is it time for some patent reform?
The lesser-spotted patent troll. If anything, they’re doubling down.
New statistics were released recently that point to patent litigation in the USA being expected to hit an all-time high this year, and the cases are largely being initiated by non-practicing entities, also known as patent trolls.
The orange bars show the number of lawsuits brought by “non-practicing entities”.
United Patents estimates about 6,100 patent lawsuits will be filed for the full year, an all-time high.
The booming tech industry has brought about a booming troll industry, with patent litigation starting to look like 21st century extortion. Uber troll Intellectual Ventures laid off a bunch of people and OG patent troll Ray Niro indicated he was moving on to more lucrative trolling opportunities, such as in trade secrets.
“CBO expects that, by requiring inventors to be more specific in pleadings to the court, awarding attorney fees to the prevailing party, and limiting discovery early in an infringement proceeding, the bill would affect the decisions of inventors to initiate lawsuits for patent infringement”, according to the office.
The tech sector has it the worst, with 90% of all patent lawsuits being filed by NPEs. Though the actual figure isn’t that impressive-just 25 lawsuits-that’s still enough for even Apple’s lawyers to call out, in court filings, that the company feels unreasonably attacked by patent trolls.