The energy industry is no stranger to lawsuits, but the nature of those lawsuits is changing.
Traditionally, disputes over contracts, employment issues, product liability claims, environmental events, and toxic torts have predominated. But recent trends in intellectual property (IP) litigation — and the changing nature of the energy business — suggest an increase in IP litigation is on the horizon.
Patent infringement lawsuits are rising.
New filings increased by 30% in 2012 and another 11% in 2013. Litigating these disputes can be expensive, with costs routinely ranging from $650,000 to $5 million, and damages awards exceeding $1 billion in some cases. Corporate America has noted the risks: a recent survey of in-house attorneys showed a 9% increase in those identifying IP as a top litigation concern.
Originally Published in Houston Chronicle/Fuel Fix - May 5, 2014.
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