Q1 2016 Patent Dispute Report

Overview - Q1 2016 litigation was down from previous quarters. About 90% of High-Tech litigation was NPE related, similar to previous quarters.


Fig. 1 - Patent disputes in Q1 2016 decreased 28% compared to Q4 2015 and 25% compared to Q1 2015, respectively.*


* Part of the Q1 2016 decrease compared to Q4 2015 in District Court litigation is likely the result of cases filed before the December 1st 2015 heightened pleading requirement. For more information please go here.

Fig. 1 Here

Fig. 2 - We estimate total 2016 patents disputes to be close to 2014 numbers, but lower than 2015 based on current projections.*


* 2016 projections were based on taking into account Q4 2015, Q1 2016 and historical numbers.

Fig. 2 Here

Fig. 3 - High-Tech continues to have the most patent disputes.


Fig. 3 Here

Fig. 4 - PTAB has become the largest venue for patent disputes. E.D. Texas the largest venue for initiating District Court patent litigation in Q1 2016.


Fig. 4 Here

Fig. 5 - NPEs filed 87% of the cases in E.D. Texas.


Fig. 5 Here

Fig. 6 - In Q1 2016, NPEs filed the majority of lawsuits.


Fig. 6 Here

Fig. 7 - The majority of D. Court litigation was in High-Tech.


Fig. 7 Here

Fig. 8 - 87% of Q1 2016 High-Tech patent suits were NPEs. 92% of all NPE suits were in High-Tech.


Fig. 8 Here

Fig. 9 - 85% of Q1 2016 NPE litigations were Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs).


Fig. 9 Here

Fig. 10 - NPEs made up less than half of Q1 PTAB filings.


Fig. 10 Here

Fig. 11 - Tech remains the top industry affected by PTAB.


Fig. 11 Here

Fig. 12 - IPRs remained the most popular form of post-grant challenge.


Fig. 12 Here

Fig. 13 - The top 5 Q1 2016 litigation filers are all NPEs

Shipping and Transit, LLC


Sportbrain Holdings, LLC


PanTaurus, LLC


Guyzar, LLC


Solocron Education, LLC




High-tech = Technologies relating to Software, Hardware, and Networking

Medical = Technologies relating to Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Health Related Technologies

Other = Technologies relating to Mechanical, Packaged Goods, Sporting Equipment and any other area outside of high-tech and medical patents.


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.

Other Entity = Universities / Non-Profits / Government / Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

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.

SME = Companies that make less than $200 million in annual revenue.

Venue in Federal District Court

TXED = Eastern District of Texas

DED = Delaware

CACD = Central District of California

NJD = New Jersey

CAND = Northern District of California


Total number of reported cases can vary based on what is included. Unified made its best attempt to eliminate mistaken, duplicative, or changes in venue filings, hence the totals may vary slightly compared to other reporting entities.

This includes all District Court and PTAB litigations between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2016.

Statistics include litigations 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.