After years of seeing declines in patent action filings, 2012 proved to be a comeback year for the Eastern District of Texas.  Several things may be driving this revival:

  • Increase in affirmance rates: In 2012, the Federal Circuit affirmance rate of decisions from East Texas was 78%.  This is up 18% from 2011.
  • NPEs are a large portion of the docket: NPEs continue to file frequently in East Texas and comprise 40-50% of the docket.
  • High win rate for Plaintiffs: The 2012 win rate for Plaintiffs is approximately 50%.
  • Decrease in granting mandamus: In 2012, the Federal Circuit’s rate of granting mandamus was 13%.  This is down sharply from the 45% rate of granting mandamus in 2011.
  • Long pendency and frequent denial of transfer, dismissal, and summary judgment motions


Only time will tell if East Texas will continue as the top patent haven.