The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has regained its
status as the most favoured forum for US patent validity
as noted by law firm Fish & Richardson in an alert.
As of October 7 some 1,299 petitions had been filed at the
PTAB in 2016, putting it slightly ahead of the 1,249 cases
filed in the Eastern District of Texas. These two were far
ahead of the 317 cases in the District of Delaware and 246
cases in the Central District of California.
active courts by numbers of cases*
|*As of October
& Richardson, based on Docket Navigator
Fish & Richardson noted that this means the PTAB is on
course to be the most active court for the year, as it was in
2014 when it surpassed the Eastern District of Texas by
"While the PTAB and district courts continue to see a
decrease in filings overall, Q3 statistics show that the PTAB
is once again the most favoured forum for US patent validity
challenges, and is currently on track to hold this title
through the end of 2016," said Fish & Richardson.
At the pace set so far this year, 2016 is on course to end
with 1,698 PTAB petitions – 4.0% ahead of the
projected 1,633 cases in the Eastern District of Texas.
However, the PTAB’s dominance is not a result
of increased popularity. Petition filing in the first three
quarters of the year is down 8% on the same period in 2015.
(Subscribers and triallists can read our analysis of PTAB
filing in the first nine months and rankings of the top
petitioners and patent owners
As Fish & Richardson’s analysis revealed,
the PTAB is on course to end the year 5.7% down on the 1,800
petitions filed last year – the first time filing will
have fallen since PTAB proceedings became available.
Rather, a drop off in filing in the Eastern District of
Texas is responsible for the turnaround. Overall district court
filing in the first nine months is down 19.4% (3,394 cases were
filed in the first nine months of 2016 compared with 4,212 in
the first nine months of 2015).
The drop is even more pronounced for the Eastern District of
Texas, however. In the first nine months of this year 35.5% of
all cases were filed in the district compared with 44.2% of
cases in the whole of 2015 (subscribers and triallists can read
our analysis of district court filing and the top plaintiffs
So not only is district court filing down, the Eastern
District of Texas’s share of cases is down also.
According to Fish & Richardson, the district is on course
to have 1,633 cases filed this year, down 35.9% on the 2,548
cases in 2015.