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 March 6, 2014 the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) has received 924 IPR petitions and 127 CBM petitions, 1056 petitions in total. Since the last update in January, the PTAB has seen 150 additional petition filings. These numbers are well beyond the 281 filing limit per year Congress envisioned in the America Invents Act. The PTAB is seeing 281 filings roughly every 2-3 months. (Click to Enlarge)
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 and larger sample in 2014 filing numbers, it seems that patent owner’s are beginning to appreciate the limited value of preliminary responses. The number of waived responses in 2014 has already surpassed 2013 numbers.
Based upon the growing sample, the settlement/adverse judgment 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)