Patent cases before US district courts are predicted to drop by 13% in 2017, while disputes at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) increased by nearly 10% year-on-year, a report has found.
The report, by Unified Patents, which aims to reduce the number of non-practising entity (NPE) patent disputes, found that last year there were 4,382 patent disputes heard before the district courts, down from 5,838 in 2015.
By the end of this year, the number of district court cases is expected to be 3,805, which would be 13% down on 2016, the report said.
There was a 10% increase in PTAB cases from Q1 to Q3 in 2016 to the same period this year.
There were 1,732 cases heard before the PTAB in 2016, but this figure is predicted to jump to 1,867 in 2017, meaning a 8% increase this year.
The study also found that 58% of all cases heard at the district court level involve issues relating to high-tech, including software, hardware and networking.
Of that 58%, nearly 90% are cases in which NPEs were involved.
“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,” the methodology stated.
“Statistics include litigation initiated by NPEs or declaratory judgments initiated by operating companies against NPEs.”