Nonpracticing Entities: Come to Delaware

Oct/Nov 2013

Publication| Intellectual Property

While the District of Delaware historicallyhas been a preferred venue for patent litigation, it now facesa new wave brought by a relatively new typeof plaintiff. In 2000, there were 97 patentcases filed in the district. Many involvedsuits between competitors, often with crosspatentsat issue. Only a few of the cases werefiled by the actual inventors of the patentsor by entities that did not compete with thedefendants. In 2012, there were 997 patentcases filed the district, and more than twothirdswere filed by non-practicing entities(NPE), also referred to as patent monetizationentities. Even after factoring in the provisionof the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act(AlA) that generally prohibits multidefendantcomplaints, the number of new patent casesfiled in 2012 represents a dramatic increasein the number of NPE suits in Delaware.

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