NPE Activity Report: Networking Litigation

npes were responsible for 83% of all networking litigation 2011-2016.

In a recent study, Unified examined patent litigation from 2011-2016 involving networking devices and services. The study revealed that from 2011 to 2016, NPEs accounted for 83 percent of all networking litigation.

Patent litigation in the networking zone reached an all-time high in 2013 with 164 new cases being filed that year. The number of new cases dropped to 117 in 2014 then increased to 128 in 2015. Through Q3 2016, 79 new cases were filed in the networking zone. 

From 2011-2016, Hewlett-Packard was the most frequent defendant in the networking zone. Dell, Cisco Systems, Huawei, and Fujitsu (including subsidiaries and affiliates) were also frequently targeted during this period. 


Unified looked at all major networking manufacturers and suppliers by revenue since 2011.
Total number of reported cases can vary. Unified made its best attempt to eliminate mistaken or duplicative filings.
Statistics include litigation initiated by NPEs or Declaratory Judgments (DJs) initiated by operating companies against NPEs.
Unified strives to accurately identify NPEs through all available means, such as court filings, public documents, and product documentation.


Non Practicing Entity (NPE) = Company which derives the majority of its total revenue from Patent Licensing activities.
Operating Company or Op. Co. = Company which derives most of its total revenue from Product Sales or Services. Could be an SME or a large company.
NPE (Patent Assertion Entities) = Entity whose primary activity is licensing patents and acquired most of its patents from another entity
NPE (Small Company) = Entity whose original activity was providing products and services, but now is primarily focused on monetizing its own patent portfolio.
NPE (Individual) = Entity owned of controlled by an individual inventor who is primarily focused on monetizing inventions patents by that individual inventor.