미국의 2011년 특허소송 조사보고서가 나왔습니다. 

지난 한 해 총 2,892건의 침해 소송이 벌어졌네요.
전년 대비 5% 증가. 가장 많았던 때는 2004년 3,075건.

가장 많은 소송을 대리한 로펌은 Fish & Richardson. 128건.

소송을 주도한 두 가지 그룹의 하나는 NPE(특허괴물), 다른 하나는 애플, 삼성 등 스마트폰 거대기업들.

 

그런데 손해배상액은 평균 1.8 million 달러로 폭락. 전년의 6 million 달러에 비해..
CAFC(미국 연방순회법원)가 2009년 이래 손해배상액에 관한 전문가 증언을 엄격히 분석하게 하였기 때문이랍니다.

가장 많은 소송을 일으킨 NPE 중 하나는 "Geotag".
이들은 2009년에 "geotagging"(온라인 사진과 같은 매체에 지리적 메타데이터를 부가하는 방법 발명)에 관한 특허를 119 million 달러에 매입하여, 구글, 모토로라 외 여러 지도 서비스 업체들을 상대로 무려 397건의 소송을 제기했습니다.
끔찍합니다.
워낙 비싼 특허를 샀으니 서둘러 본전을 뽑아야겠다는 생각이 들긴 하겠지요.


출처 :
The 2011 Patent Litigation Survey


아래는 PatentlyO 블로그 글. 참고용

Patent Suit Filings for 2010 Show a Slight Rise

By Jason Rantanen

Patstats.org, coordinated by Professor Paul Janicke of the University of Houston Law Center, recently released its analysis of patent suit filings for calendar year 2010.  Patstats reports that although the total number of patent cases filed in 2010 was 3,605 - significantly higher than the 2,744 cases filed in 2009 - much of that increase can explained by the 752 false marking cases filed in 2010.  If the false marking cases are excluded, the increase is closer to 4%.  Professor Janicke was kind enough to provide a set of historical data for context, which I used as the basis for the below graph.

Patent Suit Filings 1990-2010

Note that this chart only shows false marking cases for 2010, and thus assumes that there were not high numbers of false marking cases in previous years (for support of this assumption, see http://www.grayonclaims.com/false-marking-case-information/).  For additional analysis of patent suit filing data, as well as other interesting and useful statistics relating to patent litigation, see www.patstats.org.

 
Posted by 허성원 변리사
지적재산권보호2009.02.10 14:57

2008 NLJ BILLING SURVEY

NLJ(The National Law Journal)의 Annual Billing Survey(2008. 12. 8)는, "로펌들의 보수는 중력을 거부한다"는 타이틀 하에, 2008년의 극심한 경기침체에도 불구하고 미국 로펌들의 71%가 그들의 보수(Billing Rate, B/R)를 인상했다고 밝혔다.
이 기사에 따르면, 질의에 응답한 127개 로펌(질의서 송부한 250개 로펌 중 51%) 중 71%가 파트너와 어소시에이트의 평균 B/R을 약 4.3% 인상했다고 한다.

* 최고가 B/R : 시간당 1,260달러!
     미국 변호사 비용이 비싸다고 알려져 있기는 하지만 이 정도의 금액이면 입이 다물기 어렵다. 
     이 최고가 B/R의 주인공은 2,205명의 변호사를 보유한 White & Case. 
     이 사무소는 파트너들의 평균 B/R이 시간당 $747로서, 이 역시 미국에서 최고를 기록했다.
     최고가 "$1,260"은 "발생가능한 청구 시나리오 중 단 두 가지 견본에 해당하는 것"이라고 White & Case는 언급하면서, 
     많은 주요 팩터들 예를 들어 혼합 레이트(blended rates)나 특정 고객과의 협의 레이트(rates negotiated with specific clients)를 고려하지 않은 것이라고 변명했다.

     그 다음의 순위로 높은 B/R의 사무소는 Dorsey & Whitney. 최고 파트너 B/R이 $1,180, 평균 파트너 B/R이 $505. 
     이 사무소의 대변인은 $1,180의 최고 B/R을 청구한 사람이 런던의 국제 조세 담당 파트너였다는 정도는 밝혔지만, 
     그가 누구인지에 대해서는 구체적으로 언급하기를 거부했다.

* 미국 변호사들의 평균 B/R
     - 전체 변호사들의 B/R 평균 : $363(2007년 $348, 전년 대비 4.3% 인상) 
     - 파트너 B/R
          전체 로펌 평균 :                       $451
          White & Case 파트너 평균 :       $747(최고 $1,260)
          Dorsey & Whitney 파트너 평균 : $505(최고 $1,180)
     - 어소시에이트 B/R
          전체 로펌 평균 :                                 $282
          White & Case 어소시에이트  평균 :       $456(최고 $920)
          Dorsey & Whitney 어소시에이트  평균 : $301(최고 $820)

* Alternative and variant billing systems 
     대안적 혹은 변형된 빌링시스템(Alternative and variant billing systems)이 많은 사무소에서는 널리 채용되고 있는 것으로 보인다. 127개 사무소 중 66개의 사무소는 자신의 수입 중 적어도 일부는 그 대안 혹은 변형 청구 빌링 시스템을 통한 것이라고 밝혔다.
     "Variations"(변형 빌링 시스템)는 수수료 할인이나 혼합형 시간율 청구방식을 말하며, "Alternatives"(대안적 빌링 시스템)는 정액제나 균일가제를 포함하는 개념이다.
     많은 로펌들이 "Variations"을 더 많이 이용하고 있고, 사무소에 따라서는 90% 이상을 이 시스템으로 수입을 얻는 곳도 여럿 있다. 로펌들은 수입의존도는 "Variations"에 비해 "Alternatives" 쪽이 훨씬 적다.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2008 NLJ BILLING SURVEY

Law firm fees defy gravity

As the recession gathered, legal fees grew, and one firm broke the $1,200 per hour barrier.

December 8, 2008


Despite the rancid economy of 2008, attorney billing rates continued their escalation trend, with nearly 71% of law firms reporting an increase in the amount that they charged clients compared with 2007. This figure represents law firms that increased their average and median billing rates firmwide.

Also this year, partner billing rates broke record highs, with one firm exceeding the $1,200 mark and another rising above $1,100 per hour.

This year's results of The National Law Journal's annual billing survey indicate that, although law firms upped their rates at a slower pace compared with last year's increases, they still exacted a higher price for their labors from clients, even amid an unraveling economy.

The survey was based on information provided by 127 law firms that responded to billing questions submitted as part of the NLJ 250, The National Law Journal's annual survey of the nation's largest law firms. Of those 127 law firms, 109 provided billing information both this year and last, from which year-over-year comparisons were derived. The survey period ran from Oct. 1, 2007, to Sept. 30, 2008.

The average of this year's average firmwide billing rates, which include partner and associate rates, climbed by 4.3%.

The level of increase for average firmwide billing rates was lower than the increase last year of 7.7%, compared with 2006. At the same time, although 70.6% of firms increased their average and median billing rates this year, 75.2% increased those rates last year, compared with 2006.

The continued uptick in legal expenses means that law firms should expect clients, especially in a worsening economy, to hire more attorneys in-house and to rely more heavily on "flexible staffing," said Pamela Woldow, general counsel and principal of Altman Weil Inc., a law firm consultancy. In addition, clients, such as pharmaceutical companies, that in the past did not demand alternative or varied fees will be "negotiating harder" for better deals on legal services, Woldow said.

The average of the average firmwide billing rate for 2008 was $363 per hour, compared with $348 in 2007. The average of the median firmwide rate this year was $350 per hour, compared with $347 per hour last year.

$1,260 per hour

The most expensive hourly rate came from White & Case, which reported that the high end of its partner rate was $1,260 per hour. The firm's average partner billing rate was $747 per hour. With 2,205 attorneys, White & Case is ranked No. 6 on the NLJ 250.

In a written statement, White & Case said that the high end of its billing rates was "representative of only two potential billing scenarios for clients" and "[did] not take into account a number of key factors, including blended rates and rates negotiated with specific clients."

Coming in second was Dorsey & Whitney, where the high end of the partner rate was $1,180. Dorsey's average partner rate was $505.

The top rates at Dorsey & Whitney were charged by two international tax partners practicing in London, said firm spokesman Bob Kleiber. The firm declined to identify the partners charging that rate.

The two law firms also reported the highest associate rates, with White & Case charging $920 per hour at the high end of the range and Dorsey & Whitney charging up to $820 per hour for associate work. The average associate rate at White & Case was $456 per hour. The average associate rate at Dorsey & Whitney was $301 per hour. The $820 fee charged at Dorsey & Whitney applied to one associate practicing in the firm's London office, Kleiber said.

Regarding average partner billing rates, 86.2% of the firms charged more this year than last year. The average of the average partner rate this year was $451 per hour, while the average of the median partner rate was $435 per hour.

Regarding associate rates, 80.7% of the law firms responding to the billing survey both in 2007 and 2008 raised the high end of associate rates. The average of the average associate rate for these firms was $282 per hour. The average of the median associate rate was $274.

Other high fliers

Two law firms besides Dorsey & Whitney and White & Case reported partners who charged four-figure rates. They were Pittsburgh-based Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, at $1,020, and Chicago-based Jenner & Block, at $1,000.

Several law firms came close to the $1,000 mark on the high end of the partner rate range. They were New York-based McKee Nelson, at $995; Washington-based Patton Boggs, at $990; Cooley Godward Kronish of Palo Alto, Calif., at $980; Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, at $975; Chicago-based Winston & Strawn, at $975; Venable of Washington, at $950; Loeb & Loeb, at $925; Washington-based Hogan & Hartson, at $900; and Reed Smith, at $900.

Alternative and variant billing systems were popular among many law firms. Of the 127 firms that responded to billing questions, 66 reported that they received at least a portion of their revenue from alternatives and variations. "Variations" to the billable hour mean discounted fees or blended hourly rates, while "alternatives" include fixed or flat fees.

Many law firms derived most of their revenue via variations. They included Husch Blackwell Sanders, at 98%; Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, at 92%; and Akerman Senterfitt, at 90%.

Law firms relied on alternatives for a smaller portion of revenue, compared with variations. Firms with high percentages of revenue derived from alternative billing included Denver-based Holland & Hart, which reported 33%, and McKenna Long & Aldridge, at 30%.

Posted by 허성원 변리사