New statistics were released recently that point to patent litigation in the U.S. 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. Not surprising is the fact that Apple remains the number one target of patent trolls in 2015.
The stats are pointing to patent lawsuits likely to top 6,100 this year, up from 5,002 suits last year and 6,030 in 2013. The number of cases in front of the Patent and Trademark Appeal Board (PTAB) are also expected to hit an all-time high of 1,906.
Patent trolls who use patents to extract licensing fees or legal settlements, are responsible for 68 percent of all patent cases in U.S. District Courts, according to a report released this month by Unified Patents
The problem is especially acute in the tech industry where 90 percent of all patent litigation cases in the first half of the year were initiated by patent trolls. That compares to 85 percent in the first half of 2014.
In the first half 2013, Apple remained the #1 Target of Patent Trolls. The new 2015 statistics continue to show that Apple is the number one target of patent trolls. The stats show that Apple, Actavis and Amazon were the most frequently sued, with Apple facing 25 patent suits in the first half of the year. Actavis and Amazon each faced 21 suits.
The patent troll ranked as the third largest in the U.S. is Smartflash which is currently locked into several patent infringement cases with Apple. Our most recent report regarding Smartflash was posted in last week titled "Federal Judge Throws out Smartflash Infringement Case Damages against Apple, Sets New Trial for September."
Not surprising is the fact that there were 1,389 cases filed in the Eastern District of Texas, the most common venue for patent disputes.
A 2011 study showed that Patent Trolls cost tech companies $29 Billion and a 2012 study made the case that patent trolling was out of control. To review some of the patent troll cases against Apple, review our Patently Legal Archives.