Friday, October 24, 2014

Where Have The Trademark Cases Gone?

A review of the annual case filing statistics published by the Office of Federal Courts reveals that new trademark infringement filings in federal courts have been dropping while new patent and copyright filings have been increasing.

New patent case filings have more than doubled between 2009 and 2013, and new copyright filings have almost doubled since 2010. But trademark filings in federal courts reached a plateau in 2010 and have been decreasing since. Indeed, new copyright filings overtook new trademark filings in 2013 for the first time.

In a few months, the Office of Federal Courts will publish its new statistics for the period through September 30, 2014, and it will be interesting to see if these trends continue.

For the year ending September 30, 2013, the report identifies the following top five federal districts for new filings of copyright, patent and trademark claims:

A. New Copyright Cases:
  1. California Central:     541
  2. Illinois Northern:        321
  3. New York Southern:  229 
  4. Colorado:                   223
  5. Michigan Eastern:     158
B. New Patent Cases:
  1. Delaware:               1,492
  2. Texas Eastern:        1,386
  3. California Central:      505
  4. Virginia Eastern:        223
  5. Illinois Northern:        217

C. New Trademark Cases:
  1. California Central:      507
  2. New York Southern:  217
  3. Florida Southern:       210
  4. Illinois Northern:         209
  5. New Jersey:               126
The California Central federal district appears to be the most balanced in terms of the close number of new patent, copyright and trademark filings. Delaware and the Eastern District of Texas are the most out of balance, with their IP focus almost completely on patent cases.

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