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Patent Litigation Data Examined at the AIPLA Spring Meeting in Philadelphia


May 17, 2014 -- A panel of academics, practitioners, government officials and patent information specialists, appearing at the AIPLA Spring Meeting, discussed and debated the data behind the issue of patent assertion entities (PAEs). Patrick Coyne, of the Finnegan law firm and moderator of the discussion, posed the fundamental questions (1) who are PAEs, (2) has there been an increase in patent litigation, and (3) have PAEs been responsible.
On the first question, some panelists thought a PAE is a plaintiff that cannot be countersued, others said it depends on the type of activity the patent holder is engaged in, and another said "a PAE is anyone who files an infringement suit against me."
On the second question, the answers about increased patent litigation were nuanced by considerations of the period examined, by the entities involved, and by the context of other events, such as new legislation, the number of patents issued, and the state of the economy.
On the third question, the panelists said the responsibility of PAEs for changes in patent enforcement is more complex than the issues of litigation abuse. They indicated the patent litigation data permits a more effective examination of the costs and benefits of the patent system as a whole.
The panelists included former USPTO Director David Kappos; Professor Chris Cotropia, University of Richmond School of Law; Robert Heath, RPX Corp.; Professor Michael Meuer, Boston University School of Law; Frank Fusco, US Government Accountability Office; and Joshua Walker, co-founder of Lex Machina.
AIPLA, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, was founded in 1897 to maintain a high standard of professional ethics, to aid in the improvement in laws relating to intellectual property and in their proper interpretation by the courts, and to provide legal education to the public and to its members on intellectual property issues. AIPLA is a national bar association constituted primarily of lawyers in private and corporate practice, in government service, and in the academic community.  
AIPLA Contact:
Director of Legal Affairs
(703) 412-4353