A few months ago I wrote a blog entry titled “Jury Trials In Massachusetts – “Not”
Today I received an email/promotion from the ABA promoting some IP books and treatises. The email also contained these statistics. Since they come from the ABA IP Litigation Committee, I give them a high degree of reliability:
Number of IP cases filed in 2002: 7,445
Number resolved by trial verdict: 140
That’s 1.9% of IP cases filed in 2002 resolved by trial verdict. The balance were either decided on summary judgment or settlement. Discouraging for lawyers who like to get into court, to say the least. No one can forsee the future, but it would surprise me if this trend reverses itself in the lifetime of anyone reading this post. Civil trials have become too expensive and too risky to “go the distance”. Society is rapidly coming up with ways to avoid trials in the commercial context: arbitration, mediation, better contracts and agreements to start with, higher sophistication among decision makers, and the realization that litigation is often a losers game for both side.