Today, Robin Feldman, Professor of Law at UC Hastings Law School, informed me that she and co-authors, Sara Jeruss and Thomas Ewing, released an expanded study on patent monetizers: The America Invents Act 500 Expanded: Effects of Patent Monetization Entities. One interesting finding is patent monetizers filed 56% of patent infringement lawsuits in 2012. I am still reading it but want to pass it along now. Here is a reformatted version of their abstract of the study:
"Public attention is increasingly focused on patent monetization entities. Known colloquially as “patent trolls” or more neutrally as “NPEs,” these entities derive income from licensing or litigating, rather than producing a product.
In 2011, Congress directed the nonpartisan GAO to study the consequences of patent litigation by NPEs. We provided data for that study, producing and coding a random sample consisting of 100 of cases filed each year over five years from 2007-2011.
500 cases is a small sample. Thus, we have expanded that study to examine all patent litigations filed across four years, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012. This involved analyzing 13,000 cases and 30,000 patents asserted.
We also traced the transfer history of the patents.
Our analysis confirms what we saw in the smaller sample: patent infringement litigation by patent monetization entities has risen dramatically. Most striking, as of 2012, litigation by patent monetization entities now represents a majority of the patent litigations filed in the United States. This is a sharp rise from 2007, when patent monetization entities filed only 24%. In addition, of the parties who filed the greatest number of patent litigations in the years we studied, 9 out of 10 are patent monetization entities, and only one is an operating company.
Among other interesting results, our analysis revealed another problem previously unrecognized. Mechanisms for notifying the public when patents have been asserted in litigation are woefully inadequate. Despite federal legislation, the system was not operative for more than two-thirds of the patents asserted."
Also see: Press release and a video of Professor Feldman summarizing the study
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