I’ve read several headlines over the past year talking about how Patent Litigation is slowing down and how it might be (gasp) a dying practice area.
That’s why a post this week on Above The Law titled “Is Patent Litigation Dead? What Gives?” really peaked my interest. The author attended a panel bearing the same name that featured some prominent speakers from the world of IP Law.
How is Patent Litigation Changing?
Patent litigation is perceived to be slowing down because of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International which ruled that certain business methods that were thought to be patentable aren’t. Alice helps many large businesses defend themselves aggressively, quickly and inexpensively against Patent Trolls.
Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings are booming. While the grounds for IPR reviews are limited, defendants are taking advantage of them whenever possible because they are faster and less expensive.
The America Invents Act (AIA) impacted patent litigation because many patent cases were stayed pending a review by the PTO.
How Should You Adapt?
These changes are causing General Counsel to retain outside counsel differently.
General Counsel are looking to hire specialists to handle their cases. Specialists are perceived to bring much more value to the table than an IP litigation generalist. Not only do the relationship partners need to be specialists, but General counsel expect the associates staffed to their cases to be specialists as well.
IP Litigators must be efficient in managing cases. Which cases can be addressed via some more cost effective litigation strategies? Can you effectively handle a case while being lean on staffing?
These expectations inherently favor IP boutiques that are staffed with specialists and manage cases more efficiently.
Rahul D. Yodh is a Principal of Link Legal Search Group, a boutique attorney search firm that provides lateral attorney recruitment and contract attorney services to law firms nationwide. For more information on Link Legal Search Group, please visit www.linklegalsearch.com