March 31st marked the mid-point of the PTAB’s fiscal year and the release of mid-year statistics on AIA proceedings. The full report of the mid-year statistics is found here. One interesting trend is a continued increase in overall number of IPR petitions (mid-year there are 996 IPR petitions compared to a total of 1565 for all of last fiscal year, which represents a 27% increase in filings if the same number are filed in the second half of the year).
Another interesting trend is that PGR petitions are not increasing that much, despite the significantly increasing number of post-AIA filed patents each month now being available for these proceedings. Last year there were a total of 24 PGR petitions filed, and so far at mid-year in 2017 there are only 14.
The lowest IPR institution % is for pharma/bio at 63%, while the highest % IPR institution rate is in the mechanical area at 72%. However, when considering institution %, it is also important to consider the number of pre-institution settlements, which have the effect of removing IPR petitions from the pool available for institution, which may skew the institution % lower if one assumes these are some of the stronger petitions because they induced settlement quickly. The number of pre-institution IPR settlements in 2015 was 275 and in 2016 was 229. Mid-year of 2017, there have already been 129 pre-institution settlements, showing another strong year for settlements.