Last week, the USPTO issued the official tallies/progress statistics for Inter Partes Review (IPR), Post Grant Review (PGR) and the Covered Business Method (CBM) proceedings. As of January 9, 2014 the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) has received 810 IPR petitions and 108 CBM petitions, 922 petitions in total. Since the last update on November 7, 2013, the PTAB has seen 200 additional petition filings, quite impressive given the holiday season.
Not surprisingly, the vast majority of IPR petitions remain in the predictable arts, significant concentrations being in consumer electronics and mobile communication technologies. (a favorite haunt of non-practicing entities (NPEs))
Although difficult to gauge from the numbers due to the lag in filing of preliminary responses across yearly boundaries, it seems that patent owner’s are beginning to appreciate the limited value of preliminary responses.
Based upon early numbers, the settlement rate appears to be leveling out at around 15-20%. As more proceedings mature toward written decision the rate may increase. Of course, it is within the discretion of the PTAB to continue to written decision for late stage settlements, especially those attempted after the patent owner response. (See CBM2012-00007)