Intellectual property (IP) litigation tends to be relatively expensive compared to other types of lawsuits. There are many reasons for that. Though the complexity of the legal issues involved and a tendency for extensive pre-trial discovery and use of expert witnesses contribute to the total costs.
Below are graphs showing average costs through various stages of a an infringement or misappropriation lawsuit in the U.S. A summary graph compares average costs for “small” patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret cases with less than $1,000,000 at risk. There are also individual graphs for patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret cases with different amounts at risk, that is, with different amounts of potential damages for infringement or misappropriation (in U.S. dollars). All data comes from the 2021 AIPLA Report of the Economic Survey.
Additional reports on IP litigation are available from various sources, including PWC’s 2018 Patent Litigation Study, Lex Machina’s 2023 Patent Litigation Report (and infographic), Bloomberg Law’s 2023 Litigation Statistics Series: Patent Litigation, and UnifiedPatents’ Patent Dispute Report: 2023 in Review, as well as Lex Machina’s 2021 Copyright and Trademark Litigation Report (and trademark infographic and copyright infographic).
Austen Zuege is an attorney at law and registered U.S. patent attorney in Minneapolis whose practice encompasses patents, trademarks, copyrights, domain name cybersquatting, IP agreements and licensing, freedom-to-operate studies, client counseling, and IP litigation. If you have patent, trademark, or other IP issues, he can help.