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Design Patent PTO Litigation Statistics (through February 1, 2017)

Although post-grant challenges of design patents have consistently made up a small percentage of the total number of patent challenges, these numbers have steadily increased to their highest level in 2017. The statistics below reveal the current trends on proceeding breakdowns, institution rates, and outcomes of design patent PTO litigation.

I. Proceeding Breakdown


II. Institution Rates/Case Statuses

The institution rate for design patents, for both claims and proceedings, is 37% (10/27).

For cases overall, the proceeding institution rate is 71%, and the claim institution rate is 62%.

Here is a breakdown of the current case statuses for all of the design cases:




III. Final Written Decision (FWD) Outcomes

A. Claim Cancellation Rate

The instituted claim has been cancelled in 6 of 7 design FWDs (86%).  The overall PTO litigation claim cancellation rate is 81%.

B. FWD Ground Type

 C. FWD Prior Art Type


 IV. Technology Areas

© 2017 Sterne Kessler


About this Author

Mark W. Rygiel, Intellectual Property, Sterne Kessler Law Firm

Mark Rygiel, a director in the Mechanical Group, counsels a broad spectrum of entities ranging from large multi-national companies to small start-ups in developing IP strategies and protecting new technologies.  Mr. Rygiel specializes in obtaining utility and design patent protection for cutting edge technologies in the consumer product, vehicle system, medical device, manufacturing, and e-commerce industries.  His practice also focuses on complex post-grant proceedings at the USPTO, analyzing patents for validity, infringement, and freedom-to-operate issues and providing related opinions...

PTO Litigation Center

PTO Litigation Center is published by Washington, DC based intellectual property specialty firm Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox.  Founded in 1978, Sterne Kessler represents both emerging and established, and publicly- and privately-held companies, venture capital firms, universities, and select individuals throughout the United States and across the globe.  IP procurement, portfolio management, and IP litigation are major aspects of the practice at Sterne Kessler.

The Sterne Kessler patent office litigation team is the right choice for your patent office litigation needs with:

  • 90+ inter partes review proceedings for both petitioners and patent owners
  • 400+ reexaminations under our belt
  • 50+ interference proceedings
  • Technical skills to deconstruct patents for challenge or defense
  • Strong understanding of the USPTO and PTAB
  • Significant foreign opposition experience
  • Interdisciplinary teams that merge technical, USPTO and District Court trial experience