For some years corporate managers of IP litigation debated whether to use IP boutiques or full-service firms. Given the results of research by IP Law & Bus., July 2005 iplawandbusiness.com, mergers of boutiques may be mooting that question. Of the 16 law firms that filed or defended the most patent cases in 2004, eleven were large, multi-line law firms.
The large firms handled 60 percent of the plaintiff cases (185 of the 307) but 54 percent of the defendant cases (185 of 342), although I should note that the firms were not completely the same in each category.
The same piece stated that a 2003 report by the American Intellectual Property Law Association reported the average cost of a case with over $25 million of damages at stake was about $3.9 million. Patent cases with damages of $1 million to $25 million averaged about $2 million. (See my 2005 posts about patent litigation costs on March 6, 10, 29, and May 1, 2005.)