Medical Device Sector License Lawsuits Likely to Rise?

Can patent suits in the clinical tool industry be anticipated? Current studies suggest that particular features of patent applications themselves have a tendency to correlate with a greater opportunity that some licenses will certainly finish up in court. For fiscal year 2006 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reported a record of even more than 440,000 patent applications filed, more than double the number of applications submitted 10 years earlier.

Naturally, with the record number of license applications being submitted, and also the large number of patents provided each year, it would be sensible to expect that the number of license associated claims would likewise enhance. Current stats tend to corroborate this reasoning as a growing number of license proprietors are counting on the courts to aid shield their useful copyright possessions. For example, from 1995 to 2005, the number of patent legal actions submitted in the United States boosted from around 1700 to greater than 2700, a 58% increase in simply 10 years.

While the number of patent fits filed has actually significantly boosted over the previous 10 years, it is interesting to note that current researches approximate that on standard just roughly 1% of U.S. licenses will be prosecuted. These studies also keep in mind a variety of attributes that often tend to predict whether a patent is likely to be litigated.

Number of Claims

A license must consist of at least one insurance claim that defines with particularity what the applicant considers as his invention. The insurance claims of a patent are commonly analogized to the residential or commercial property description in an action to real estate; both define the limits and also degree of the residential or commercial property. Given that the claims established the limits of the innovation, the candidate has a motivation to define the invention via a number of broad cases. Nonetheless, in some technical areas where there is a large amount of prior art, the candidate may need to specify the invention via a variety of slim claims to avoid the invalidating prior art.

Empirical research studies have discovered that litigated licenses include a bigger number of cases as opposed to non-litigated licenses. One research determined that prosecuted patents had nearly 20 claims on standard, compared to just 13 claims for non-litigated licenses.


License cases are conveniently the most vital part of the patent. Some researchers conclude that the reason litigated licenses have more insurance claims than non-litigated licenses is that the patentee recognized the license would be useful, expected the possibility of lawsuits, and also as a result prepared more cases to help the license stand up in litigation.

The area of innovation protected by the license might also discuss why licenses with a large number of claims are most likely to be prosecuted. In a congested technical field there will likely be extra rivals who are creating similar items. It seems to make feeling that patents having a big number of cases in these crowded fields are extra likely to contrast with competitors.

To get a general idea of how the number of cases relate to the medical device sector, 50 of one of the most lately issued licenses for endoscopes were evaluated. The outcomes show an average of 17 claims per patent. This number drops someplace in the center of the claim numbers for prosecuted as well as non-litigated licenses mentioned above. Presumably more probable, according to the empirical studies, that these patents will certainly have a higher chance of being prosecuted. In addition to having a higher opportunity of being litigated, these results may show that the congested clinical tool industry worths their patents and also prepares for litigation, with completion result being patents having a bigger number of cases.

Prior Art Citations

In the IDS, the candidate provides all of the U.S. licenses, foreign licenses, and also non-patent literary works that they are conscious of as well as that is relevant to the creation. A USPTO license examiner performs a search of the previous art as well as might point out prior art versus the candidate that was not previously a new invention divulged in an IDS.

Of program, with the record number of license applications being submitted, as well as the big number of patents provided each year, it would be logical to anticipate that the number of license relevant claims would certainly likewise raise. One research determined that litigated patents had virtually 20 cases on standard, compared to just 13 insurance claims for non-litigated patents. Some researchers end that the factor litigated licenses have even more cases than non-litigated patents is that the patentee recognized the license would certainly be valuable, anticipated the prospect of litigation, and also as a result composed even more claims to help the license stand up in litigation.

The area of technology secured by the InventHelp prototypes patent might additionally explain why licenses with a huge number of cases are extra likely to be prosecuted. In enhancement to having a greater opportunity of being prosecuted, these outcomes might suggest that the crowded clinical tool industry values their patents and also prepares for litigation, with the end result being patents having a larger number of claims.