The IAM Patent 1000 US national rankings have expanded significantly this year, with the addition of two new firm tables (International Trade Commission and Trade Secrets) and three new individual tables (Life Sciences Prosecution, Life Sciences Litigation and Trade Secrets). These new sections, along with the US state research, have...
The IAM Patent 1000 US national rankings have expanded significantly this year, with the addition of two new firm tables (International Trade Commission and Trade Secrets) and three new individual tables (Life Sciences Prosecution, Life Sciences Litigation and Trade Secrets). These new sections, along with the US state research, have been enhanced through the use of Docket Navigator, a patent litigation intelligence platform that supports more than 15,000 judges, lawyers and legal professionals, which IAM recently acquired. The PTAB continues to be a red-hot forum as patent challengers look to utilise it as a litigation tool – the vast majority of district court disputes have corresponding proceedings at the PTAB. This is one area that Kathi Vidal, the Director of the USPTO and Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, will be focusing on, in addition to the law surrounding Standard Essential Patents. Section 101 remains a contentious topic, with very little being done to rectify the lack of clarity and consistency in the software space. Non-practising entity (NPE) litigation is on the rise, with many NPEs being funded by wealthy investment groups which are looking to use the patent litigation system as a way of creating revenue. Judge Connolly attempted to require those bringing infringement suits to disclose more information regarding their background and funding, but it is unclear what steps will be taken to tackle this increase in NPE litigation. Many of these cases have been filed in litigation hotbeds in states such as Delaware and Texas, which leads on to the issue of patent litigation venue, specifically regarding the Western District of Texas, where Judge Albright sits. Albright’s docket previously hosted 18.83% of all US patent cases, which raised concerns that Chief Judge Garcia addressed in 2022. All new patent cases filed in Waco are now assigned to the 12 district judges at random, with the intention of putting a stop to Judge Albright’s ‘rocket docket’. Nevertheless, it appears that many plaintiffs are still choosing the Western District of Texas as their preferred litigation venue, based on its reputation as a plaintiff-friendly court.