The Changing Legal Environment
The past decade has seen significant changes to the IP legal environment. In fact, the past 10 years have seen more IP cases in the Supreme Court than the previous 50 years. These changes in IP law have led to an increase in complexity of IP cases. This in turn has helped to drive up the cost of IP litigation (approximately $5 million to try a case today compared with $2 million 10 years ago). IP litigation requires a great deal of capital. At the same time, damage awards have risen as well, so there can be a return on this investment. Furthermore, the rise of litigation funding means that the litigant need not always fund its own case; it can receive funding from a third-party investor, or utilize contingent-fee lawyers. All of this has made patent litigation a business unto itself—apart from invention and innovation. For a more detailed look at the significant IP cases over the past 10 years, please see Appendix A.