A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

Certain districts are famous for being better for plaintiffs. Your Texan districts immediately spring to mind.

There's always been a bit of a dearth in data to support the idea that those districts represent greener (read: more full of defendants' money) pastures than our own Delaware.

Stereotypical Average Texan Plaintiff
Stereotypical Average Texan Plaintiff Mathieu Stern, Unsplash

With that in mind, I decided to dig into the most easily ascertainable, and thus best, stat on win rates in our own Delaware. To that end, I submit the win rates for plaintiffs in patent jury trials before each of our 4 sitting judges over the last 2 years (I use Judge Andrews here because Judge Hall does not have a statistically significant number of jury trials over this period).

(Eds. Note - Nate no longer knows how to actually calculate statistical significance, but he's pretty sure he's right about this)

I counted any verdict that resulted in a non-nominal damages award a win, even if other claims were found invalid and/or noninfringed. This data does not consider any later result on appeal or post-trial motions.

  • Judge Andrews - 66% Plaintiff win rate (4/6)
  • Judge Connolly - 75% plaintiff win rate (3/4)
  • Judge Noreika - 62.5% Plaintiff win rate (5/8)
  • Judge Williams - 92% Plaintiff win rate (12/13)

The obvious first takeaway is that plaintiffs are winning something more often than not. I'll try to pull together the average award for a future post, but my perusal suggested a median figure in the $10-40 million range, with one or two much higher. It's tough to say if the slightly different rates we see between the judges is of any significance with this small dataset.

(Eds. Note—yes we know someone can do the math, that person is just not me. @ me nerds with the answer)

We'll keep a watch on these trends over the next year and let you know how things shake out. Maybe we'll add an amusing verdict tracker to the top of the page. That'll bring in the new readers.

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