2006 Damages Study

by YourPatentGuy on December 31, 2006

PriceWaterhouseCoopers has made a damages study available – a summary that asserts that damage awards are increasing and trial tactics are changing. You may use this link to sign up to receive the short 32 page brief study.

I found this study by reviewing this post. My comments to the post are reproduced below.


Thank you for pointing out this PWC Study – I enjoyed the overview and agree with several points.

However, I have reviewed the study and find some points where I disagree with your characterizations. First, while 53% of the cases result in damage awards according to the study, since the study does not count injunctions, summary judgements, and motions to dismiss. The “success” of a plaintiff in achieving an injunction can sometimes be far more valuable than damages. In this case, the 53% damages figure from the survey does not directly support the assertion that plaintiffs “win barely more than one half of the time.”

Second, while the survey does assert that 30% of the damage decisions issued by US federal district courts were affirmed, the ‘other’ 70% were overturned, adjusted, or remanded. The survey does not indicate what happens in these 70% of the cases, from my experience the damage awards can be increased.

There are, of course, other costs of litigation not directly quantified in this survey, particularly the mind share and distractions of the executives and technologists in participating in the litigation. I am not sure that many people who have been sued feel victorious, no matter the outcome.?

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