MoFo Study Finds Intellectual Property Litigation is Becoming More…

Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to present the findings of its new study, “Benchmarking IP Litigation 2019,” a look into the current state of intellectual property (IP) litigation. The report was developed from in-depth interviews with top IP legal decision-makers from 53 companies with at least $750 million in revenue to better understand IP litigation trends, including spend, types of matters, jurisdiction, and management. The report covers detailed findings and commentary from these decision-makers, along with guidance and key considerations for companies as they determine their global IP strategies.

The study found that although companies are handling a decreasing number of IP matters, spending on IP matters is growing as they becoming increasingly larger, complex, international, and multijurisdictional in nature. The average exposure for large companies in “bet-the-company” cases is over $1 billion, with the high end at $2 billion. Maturing patent courts in Europe and China are becoming popular outlets for disputes, and new technology has blurred the lines between industries, subjecting companies to risk and challenges from new sources.

Some key findings from the report include:

  • Annual spend on IP Litigation matters continues to increase, growing from $1.7 billion in 2005 to $3.3 billion in 2019; annual growth rates have recently slowed but continue at double-digit rates;
  • While spending has increased, the number of matters that companies are managing is down 27%, from 15 matters on average in 2015 to 11 matters on average in 2019;
  • Matters are more complex and riskier, with nearly one out of five being classified as “Bet-the-Company” (4%) or “High-Risk” (15.1%); an additional 48% are reported as “Complex or Significant”;
  • Seventy percent of new matters are now being filed outside the U.S., and 64% of IP litigation decision-makers see matters filed outside of the U.S. as riskier and more challenging; and
  • When asked how they expect IP litigation to change over the next three years, nearly 20% of respondents said they expect bigger, more complex, and riskier litigation.

“As litigation becomes more significant, complex, and multi-jurisdictional for companies, top IP legal decision-makers need to adopt a global approach to IP, stay abreast of developments in key jurisdictions, and partner early with counsel who can provide sound advice quickly to minimize costs and risks,” said Richard S.J. Hung, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Intellectual Property Practice Group.

The link to Morrison & Foerster’s “Benchmarking IP Litigation 2019” Report is available here:

We are Morrison & Foerster — a global firm of exceptional credentials. Our clients include some of the largest financial institutions, investment banks, and Fortune 100, technology, and life sciences companies. The Financial Times has named the firm to its lists of most innovative law firms in North America every year that it has published its Innovative Lawyers Reports in that region. In the past few years, Chambers USA has honored MoFo’s Privacy and Data Security, Bankruptcy, and IP teams with Firm of the Year awards, the Corporate/M&A team with a client service award, and the firm as a whole as Global USA Firm of the Year. Our lawyers are committed to achieving innovative and business-minded results for our clients, while preserving the differences that make us stronger. The firm also has a long history of commitment to the community through providing pro bono legal services, including litigating for civil rights and civil liberties, improving public education for poor children, advocating for veterans, promoting international human rights, winning asylum for the persecuted, and safeguarding the environment.

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