US patent strategy – choice of litigators

IP Law & Business have just published their annual survey of firms representing litigants in US patent litigation – ‘Never a dull moment‘. 

The data is from 2007 and based on responses from the firms themselves, rather than from Court files.  That being said, there’s some interesting issues.

For example, the firm that handled the most Appeals (Howrey – 19) was ranked fourth in terms of District Court cases (62).  So are Howrey clients more likely to appeal or do clients shift firms when their case goes on appeal?  Fish & Richardson rank 2nd in appeals (16), and correspondingly come in at first place for District Court cases (98).  F&R have quite a lead over their nearest competitor at the District Court Level – Morrison & Foerster (69).

More tellingly, Finnegan & Henderson rank 3rd for appeal cases (14), but come in a lowly 11th for District Court cases (44).  What’s going on there?  Do they win so much that there’s no need to appeal?  Do other firms shift to Finnegan’s when they appeal?

A lot of this data is meaningless without some sort of win / loss information – though this study is based on filed cases, not those which were concluded.  Still – it would be really useful to put these two data points together…