Patent litigation fell again in 2016, PwC study says

The number of patent cases filed declined again in 2016, continuing a downward trend from a high point reached in 2013, according to the latest PwC patent litigation study.

The report said about 5,100 patent cases were filed in 2016, a year-over-year drop of 9%.

“The largest patent-infringement verdict in US history was granted in 2016 in Idenix Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Gilead Sciences Inc,” said the PwC report.

“Idenix, a subsidiary of Merck, was awarded $2.5 billion by a jury for its patent related to a hepatitis C drug.

“While this award was remarkable, it appears as an outlier when viewed in the larger context: the 2016 median damages award was $6.1 million — a significant decrease from 2015’s median award of $10.2 million.”

The number of patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) increased by 4% in 2016, after seeing a rare decline in 2015.