Patent litigation costs | How much does it cost to protect a patent?
Patent litigation costs, patent infringement, inventor royalty litigation statistics, insurance and lawsuit information





"[Knockoff companies] figure most inventors don't have the money for a long legal battle."

Jerry Mills
Intellectual property attorney
Baker & Botts L.L.P

Patent Litigation Cost

$3 million to $10 million.  “An average patent case will cost between $3 million and $10 million, and take two to three years to litigate.” Average cost of patent litigation. Success rate for challenging a patent. (Sylvia Hsieh, “More patent cases are being taken on contingency fee basis,” Lawyers USA, August 14, 2006)

$3 million ($5 million if there is an appeal).  Estimated average cost of patent litigation.  “The average patent litigation lasts about two years and costs about $3 million. An appeal can add another $2 million and one year to that estimate.” Patent litigation costs. (Cohen Pontani Lieberman & Pavane LLP, New York, “US - Litigation: Cost and duration of patent litigation,” Managing Intellectual Property, February 2009)

$2 million.  Average cost of patent litigation reported in 2003.  “[According] to the 2003 Report of Economic Survey published by the American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association, the average cost of patent litigation is $2M, trademark litigation is $600K, and other types of IP litigation average between $500K and $800K.  [Bill Robinson of Foley & Lardner] gave his thoughts on why these costs are so high, and what can be done to bring them under control.” (William J. ‘Bill’ Robinson, “IP Litigation Strategies: Patents: Markman Hearings - Part 2,” Foley & Lardner LLP, Los Angeles, CA, FindLaw, September 30, 2003)

Between $1 million and $2 million.  For small business owners such as Mr. [Burt Rubin founder of Manhattan-based Evo.pen], patent infringement can be ruinous, but so can defending against it. Court fees can add up to between $1 million and $2 million — an amount few entrepreneurs can afford.  Cost of patent suit. Patent lawsuit costs. (Erika Rasmusson, “Pen inventor won't be written off by imitators,” Crain's New York Business, April 22, 2002)  Order one of inventor Burt Rubin's innovative ergonomic Evo.pen products. 

At least $1 million if you go all the way to trial.  “If you go all the way through a trial. It will cost at least a million dollars. You can get a settlement for about a half-million. About 70% to 90% of these [knock-off] companies will settle with you, but you have to have the money to pursue them, and they know it. They figure most inventors don't have the money for a long legal battle." Patent litigation. Patent law firm. (Jerry Mills, intellectual property attorney at Baker & Botts L.L.P quoted in Rusty Cawley, “Patent Protection,” Dallas Business Journal, June 12, 1998)

$1 million in costs for each party.  “Patent lawsuits typically cost each party $1 million, and suits costing $4 million to $10 million are not unheard of."  How much does patent litigation cost?  What is the average cost of patent lawsuits? Average cost of litigating a patent case. (Megan Barnett, “Patents pending”, U.S. News & World Report, June 10, 2002)


Once an invention is patented, what are the risks that an invention will be knocked off, counterfeited or pirated?


$1 millon-plus.  Average cost of challenging a patent through the end of trial.  “Challenging a patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) hasn't been cheap. A recent survey by the International Patent Law Association revealed that the average cost through the end of a trial is well over $1 million.” Cost to litigate patent lawsuit. (Marc E. Brown, “Lower-cost patent challenge now more effective,” Electronic Business, February 1, 2003)

$500,000 to $500 million.  “Filing or fighting a legal suit is an extremely expensive affair (with a median range of $0.5 million to $0.5 billion), as most of the firms involved in these legal battles have learnt.” Cost file patent lawsuit. (M. Qaiser, and P. Mohan Chandran, “Patent Insurance: Teflon Coating on Armour?,” iPrex Intellectual Property Solutions, December 30, 2005)

$500,000.  “You can get a settlement [with a knock-off company] for about a half-million. About 70% to 90% of these companies will settle with you, but you have to have the money to pursue them, and they know it. They figure most inventors don't have the money for a long legal battle." (Jerry Mills, intellectual property attorney at Baker & Botts L.L.P quoted in Rusty Cawley, “Patent Protection,” Dallas Business Journal, June 12, 1998)

$500,000 upfront fee.
  “[To] fight his current case against Manco [Manco Inc., the American subsidiary of German-based conglomerate Henkel AG], Burt Rubin, inventor of Evo.pen] hired a large firm that required $25,000 simply to research the [patent infringement] allegation. A cease and desist letter was sent — the first step in combating patent infringement — but without effect. Facing a court battle, and with his lawyers demanding a half-million-dollar fee upfront, Mr. Rubin balked.” Court costs for patent lawsuit.  (Erika Rasmusson, “Pen inventor won't be written off by imitators,” Crain's New York Business, April 22, 2002)  Purchase inventor Burt Rubin's Evo.pen products.


What is the success rate of patent litigation?  In patent infringement lawsuits what is the win rate for patent infringers?  What is the success rate for patent owners in patent infringement cases?  Search for best-selling books on patent litigation, patent strategy and patent litigation strategies


$350,000 to $1 million.  “[The] American Intellectual Property Law Association's 1997 Economic Survey estimates the median cost of taking a patent case through discovery ranges from $350,000 to $1 million.” Patent infringement lawsuit costs. (William N. Hulsey III, Hulsey Intellectual Property Lawyers, “Patent insurance can guard intellectual capital,” Austin Business Journal, June 12, 1998)

$300,000 to $3 million.  Median cost of litigating a patent infringement lawsuit through trial.  “Here's an eye-opening fact: In the 1997 Economic Survey by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (IPLA), the median cost of litigating a patent infringement lawsuit through trial can range from $300,000 to $3 million.  Intellectual property litigation is one of the most expensive forms of litigation in our country."  Average patent trial cost. (Tomima Edmark, “Rest Insured,” Entrepreneur Magazine, November 1997)

$250,000.  Litigation fee costs for patent infringement lawsuit.  In 1986 nurse-inventor Diane B. Loisel of Bowie, Maryland obtained a patent for a neonatal respiratory therapy cap device.  She paid $6000 in patent costs to her attorney and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  When a company she contacted about manufacturing and distributing her device, introduced a similar product on the market before she finalized her licensing agreement with another distributor, she had her attorney send a cease-and-desist order to the company.  “The president of the company ignored her lawyer's cease-and-desist letter, she alleged, threatened to file a lawsuit and seek to have her patent declared invalid, saying a device like hers was already in use — a standard contention in many patent disputes.  Loisel said she could not afford to sue for patent infringement. Her attorney told her litigation fees would be about $250,000. ‘If you're going to get a patent, they said, you're going to have to fight,’ she said. ‘But they never told me it would cost so much money.’” Her story is also featured in Idiot's GuideThe Complete Idiot's Guide to Cashing in on Your Inventions, by Richard C. Levy.  (Jennifer Caspar, “The Relentless Task Of Patent Protection; Entrepreneurs Face High-Cost Challenges,” The Washington Post, December 11, 1989)

$50,000 to $100,000 per month in patent litigation costs.  “There are over 5,000 companies in the U.S. that spend between $50,000 and $100,000 a month in patent litigation costs.” Patent infringement lawsuit.  Patent infringement damages. Cost to file patent lawsuit.  (Joby Hughes, president of Litigation Risk Management Inc., quoted in Joanne Wojcik, “Patent insurance pending. (insurance policy program aimed at helping to finance the costs of patent, copyright infringement and trademark suits),” Business Insurance, April 28, 1997


Number of patent lawsuits filed annually

2600.  Number of new patent litigation cases filed annually.  “[Inventor and former police-officer Louis Kohus] is among thousands of inventors nationwide who have made patent litigation a booming business for more than a decade.  New patent cases have leveled off recently to about 2,600 per year, but the number of lawsuits filed annually still is more than double that of the early 1990s.” Patent infringement lawsuit filed.  How many patent lawsuits were filed in the past year?  (Dan Horn, “Patent litigation lucrative, on rise,” Cincinnati.com, July 26, 2009)


What is the lawsuit success rate for patent owners? What is the litigation success rate for accused patent infringers?

75.6% loss rate.  Patentees lose 75.6% of the time against accused patent infringers.  “An empirical study of the results of patent litigation at the appellate level during the period 2002-2004. Dispositive case results, i.e., those not involving a remand on the merits, are compiled. Patent owners won 24.43% of the cases and accused infringers the remainder. The cases were further analyzed to determine the characteristics of winning and losing parties, including nationality, financial strength, location of principal offices, and several other factors.”   (Paul M. Janicke, University of Houston Law Center and Lilan Ren, University of Houston, “Who Wins Patent Infringement Cases?,” American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal, Vol. 34, p. 1, 2006)

25% win rate.  Patent owner long-term contested win rate.  “The long-term contested win rate for patent owners varies around 25 percent.” (LegalMetric press release, “LegalMetric Data Of KSR Effect On Patent Owner Win Rates,” eWorldwire, September 12, 2007)