Patent infringement lawsuits raking in the big bucks

1 02 2010

It’s a good time to be in the patent litigation business, it seems, as “non-practicing entities” are regularly receiving higher damages in patent cases than companies that are actually selling products and services. That’s according to a new report on patent litigation from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which examined 1,400 patent cases in order to get a feel for the current landscape. Even though patent reform is a big talking point in government right now, it’s clear that the upper hand currently belongs to those who aren’t making products.

Non-practicing entities—NPEs, also known as patent trolls—have gotten more than double the awards for their patent cases than practicing entities over the last 14 years, according to the consulting firm. Between 1995 and 2008, awards to NPEs ranged from $2.2 million to $10.6 million with a median at about $4.4 million. When narrowed down to just the last seven years, the difference in awards was more than triple in favor of NPEs—the median was at $12 million for NPEs, compared to $3.4 million for practicing entities.

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