A recent item in Forbes about the plight of smaller companies who can be bankrupted by patent lawsuits and threats from the medical device giants (see my post Going Toe To Toe With Medical Device Giants) concludes with an interesting and, for some, perhaps, eye-opening set of statistics about the costs associated with patent litigation and related facts. I append it below. For other interesting facts about the IP system, see my estimate of the costs of the patent system (Reducing the Cost of IP Law), as well as a growing collection of IP horror stories (The Patent, Copyright, Trademark, and Trade Secret Horror Files).
Intellectual property is a precious asset–if you can afford to protect it.
$10 million: Cost to defend a high-stakes patent suit
$3.8 million: Median damages awarded in patent infringement cases from 2001-07
482,871: Patent applications filed in 2009
191,927: Patents issued in 2009
2,700: Average number of patent-infringement lawsuits filed per year
$1,000: Hourly rate charged by top patent litigators
100: Average number of patent cases that go to trial each year
57%: Percentage of trials won by patent holders
34.6: Average number of months to secure a patent
Sources: USPTO website; General Patent Corp.; Stanford IP Database; Ropes & Gray; PricewaterhouseCoopers