New Study Debunks Claims of a Patent Litigation “Crisis”

May 29, 2024
For years, those seeking to weaken patent rights have claimed that we are in the midst of a patent litigation “crisis” in the United States. They have painted a picture of American businesses being bombarded with patent lawsuits. And they have argued that the answer is to diminish the power of patents, making it easier to invalidate patents and harder for inventors to defend them.

However, a new study recently released by Marcum, a top national accounting and advisory firm, fully debunks these claims, finding that there has been a dramatic decline in patent litigation in the United States in recent years. In fact, patent litigation as a share of patents issued has dropped to less than 1.0% in the last five years.

A similar decline was found in the size of monetary awards in patent cases. From 2018 to 2022, median damage awards in patent cases were $2.4 million, compared to $3.7 million from 2013 to 2017 and $4.3 million from 2008 to 2012.

The patent litigation “crisis” narrative rests on the false belief that non-practicing entities (NPEs, aka those who invent and patent and then license rather than manufacture, just as Thomas Edison did) are frivolously suing and racking up huge awards. The Marcum report lays bare the truth of that lie. It’s time for Congress to question this false narrative and pass legislation, like the PREVAIL Act, that will help restore the rights of inventors.