Highest Priced Patent Lawsuits
In recent times, innovators have lost $500 billion in wealth from 1990-2010 due to the continued discouragement of intellectual property lawsuits that have ran rapport making it a business for patent profiteers all by itself.
The fees associated with these lawsuits add up fast. For the losing contender, the average patent lawsuit costs $122 million. Small companies that lack the capital and funds find themselves unable to compete. The median litigation fees for these lawsuits can cost $650,000 for those that have less than a million at risk. If you have 1-25 million at risk, your average fees would be around $2.5 million. For those have carry a risk higher than $25 million, plan on an average litigation fee costing you $5 million.
The Patent Trolls NPEs
Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs) are legal entities that own patents but do not pursue any form of development. They are one of the main causes for patent wars, representing more than one third of software patent cases.
According to the FTC, approximately 2700 patent lawsuits are filed each year. It is increasingly becoming more evident in the mobile industry where litigation over mobile patents has skyrocketed. From 2006 to 2010, mobile handset patent case filings have increased from 25 to 84 lawsuits.
Apple vs. Android
Of all the patent wars out there that have occurred, none is more infamous than the Apple/Android battle to which Steven Jobs vowed to bring Android down. More than 50 patent related lawsuits have been filed in over ten countries between Apple and Samsung.
End the Madness
As patent cases continue to rise and trample through American courtrooms, America fights to end the madness with these types of disputes. America Invents Act of 2011 aimed to move the patent system from a first to invent to a first inventor to file system in 2013. This new system would grant the patent for invention to the first person who files a patent application regardless of the actual date of invention.
Twitter is one example of a company moving to end the patent wars by pledging not to pursue offensive patent lawsuits through declaring neutrality. While these are steps in the right direction, big companies continue to use patent litigation as a means to thwart their small, more innovative competition. This is currently considered the biggest risk right now to small and medium sized American companies.