The number of patent cases filed has steadily declined since 2013. PwC said this is down to the abolishment of Rule 85 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which simplified the process of bringing a lawsuit for direct patent infringement.
Patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) climbed 4 percent after seeing a decline in 2015.
The USPTO granted approximately 325,000 patents in 2015, compared to around 330,000 in 2016.
PwC also identified a downward trend in the overall median damages award.
In 2016, Idenix Pharmaceuticals v Gilead Sciences saw the biggest damages award ever, Idenix receiving $2.5 billion.
Despite this landmark award, the overall median damages in 2016 was down to $6.1 million, compared to 2015’s $10.2 million.