Litigation in the Middle: The Context of Patent-Infringement Injunctions
42 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 5, 2015
A large fraction of patent-infringement injunctions issued by district courts in 2010 have a surprisingly low-tech feel, involving subject matter that might be viewed as more typical of a past “Industrial Age” than the modern “Information Age.” The predominance of relative mundanities among the targets of permanent injunctions challenges the conventional sense that patent litigation is characteristically a high-stakes “sport of kings.” The general absence of software from technologies subjected to injunctions suggests that further fiddling with the law on injunctions could do little to address continuing concerns about the patent system’s treatment of software. Further, evidence that patent litigation is often a more bourgeois than regal affair could indicate that a sometimes overlooked “Mittelstand” of small and medium-sized patent holders plays an important part in the patent system’s operation and social effect. The apparent existence of a substantial tier of “middling” litigation suggests that, in designing patent law and policy, decision-makers should think about more than the forms of litigation that typically garner headlines.
Keywords: Patent, Injunction, Settlement
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