Q2 2019 Patent Dispute Report


The number of new patent disputes in the first half of 2019 is 10% lower than the first half of 2018. This is primarily due to a sharp decline in AIA challenges in the first and second quarters of 2019, amounting to the lowest number of new cases since 2014. Meanwhile, district court patent litigation has remained relatively steady, and the number of NPE-related challenges actually increased by 13% compared to the first half of 2018. Leading the way is the Delaware District Court which experienced a 28% increase in new patent suits in 2019 (64% of which involved an NPE) compared to the same period for 2018.


  • Approximately 320 new AIA challenges were filed with the PTAB in Q2 2019, the lowest number since 2014. 

  • Patent litigation in the Delaware District Court increased 28% in the first half of 2019 (compared to 1H 2018). Over 64% of these new disputes were brought by NPEs.  

  • Unified was the 2nd most frequent PTAB petitioner for 1H 2019 (behind Apple at 43). Unified filed 28 new IPRs in the first half of 2019 against some of the most widely asserted NPE patents. 

  • Velos Media, an entity that claims to have and seeks to license patents essential to the HEVC / H.265 video codec standard, continues to be challenged and is the 9th most challenged patent owner in 2019 due to Unified’s activities in its new SEP Zone.

Figure 1: Assuming current trends continue, the volume of patent litigation in 2019 is expected to be lower than the number of new filings in 2018.  View all District Court and PTAB litigation on our Portal.


Figure 2:  Nearly 900 new district court litigations were filed in Q2 2019, the most in a single quarter since Q2 2017. On the other hand, the number of new AIA challenges decreased to fewer than 320 new petitions for the first time since Q1 2014.

Figure 3: While the PTAB remains the most popular venue for patent disputes overall, the Delaware District Court received the most NPE-related disputes in Q2 2019.

Figure 4: The High-Tech industry continues to experience the highest volume of patent disputes at both the District Court and the PTAB.  View High-Tech litigation on Unified’s Portal.

District Court

Figure 5: NPEs filed over 550 new district court cases in Q2 2019, the most NPE cases in a single quarter since 2016. 30% of these cases were filed in the Delaware District Court, making it the most popular venue for NPE patent litigation.

Figure 6: Over half of all new district court patent cases involve High-Tech companies

Figure 7: 84% of all NPE assertions filed in 2019 involved High-Tech companies. By contrast, only 10% of non-NPE litigation involved companies in the High-Tech sector.

Figure 8: 91% of all High-Tech litigation in 2019 is attributed to NPE assertions against technology companies. View all 2019 District Court litigation on Unified’s Portal.

PTAB Disputes

Figure 9: The PTAB received about 320 new petitions in Q2 2019 — a 29% decrease from Q1 and the lowest number of new filings in a quarter since 2014. Detailed records for each of these cases is available on Unified’s Portal along with various tools to filter and analyze these cases.


Figure 10: Consistent with more recent trends, approximately 65% of petitions filed in 2019 involved High-Tech companies. This represents a substantial shift from earlier filing patterns, for example in 2015 where only 55% of petitions involved High-Tech companies.

Figure 11: Over 50% of all AIA challenges filed in 2019 that involved High-Tech companies related to NPE-controlled patents. View the interactive version of this data on Unified’s Portal

Figure 12: IPRs continue to be the most popular post-grant proceeding at the PTAB. 

Figure 13: Unified was the second most frequent petitioner at the PTAB in 2019. Apple was the most frequent petitioner with 43 petitions filed. View all of Unified’s cases on the Portal

Figure 14: 7 of the top 10 most frequently challenged patent owners are well-known patent licensing entities. This includes Velos Media, an entity that claims to have, and seeks to license, patents essential to the HEVC / H.265 video codec standard. As part of its ongoing effort in the SEP Video Codec Zone, Unified has filed petitions challenging over 35% of Velos’ known US patents (by family).



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 or controlled by an individual inventor who is primarily focused on monetizing inventions patents by that individual inventor.


CACD = Central District of California
CAND = Northern District of California
DED = Delaware District Court
NJD = New Jersey District Court
NDIL = Northern District of Illinois
SDNY = Southern District of New York
TXED = Eastern District of Texas
TXWD = Western District of Texas


This report includes all District Court and PTAB litigations between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2019.

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. 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.