According to a new report from Willis Towers Watson, the lion’s share of IP litigation is driven by patent cases. Over 5,000 patent cases take place annually, followed by 3,900 trademark and 2,200 copyright cases.
The report offers a number of interesting statistics on the state of IP litigation in the U.S. and around the world. Here are a few highlights:
- In the U.S., there are about 12,000 IP cases filed in federal court, compared to 6,400 other commercial cases.
- While half of the respondents to a survey of businesses were most concerned about being sued by a competitor, between 50% and 70% of defendants were sued by non-competitors.
- About 5% of patent cases wind up going to trial, with the rest settled out of court.
- For patent suits brought by non-competitors, the average cost of a suit was $1.9 million, 53% of which goes to settlement and damages payments, while the remaining 47% goes to the costs of litigation.
The costs of IP litigation can be staggering, and for this reason the report recommends firms explore IP insurance, which would cover the costs of damages and litigation.