Patent litigation during the pandemic


Dhananjay Kumar Das

Patent litigation during the pandemic

Corona Borealis Studio /

Last year’s US patent litigation landscape appeared to be unchanged by the pandemic, except for a notable increase in activity from patent assertion entities, explains Dhananjay Kumar Das of Sagacious IP.

Every industry around the globe is distressed by the COVID-19 pandemic and all industries are trying hard to overcome the resulting turmoil. Among the worst-hit sectors are travel and tourism, production and manufacturing, automotive, finance and all their underlying R&D activities. However, there’re a few sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment, virtual meeting tools, over-the-top media platforms, which have witnessed growth during these unprecedented times.

Although the pandemic has altered the practice of law and posed considerable obstacles, the courts around the world couldn’t afford a complete shutdown, and the technologies like e-discovery and remote depositions have enabled attorneys to continue to work without disruption. The court closures however have created a backlog of both criminal and civil cases and an obvious delay in patent litigations. It is too early to assess the lasting impact of COVID-19 on patent litigations, but one may still speculate certain trends based on available data.

Using RPX Insight US litigation data from the last three years, the trend can be depicted as in figure 1. An increase in patent litigation can be observed for the year 2020 and a similar surge can be seen for the locked-down months of March through December compared to two preceding two years.

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