by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jan 20th 2009 9:22am
There's a new report out that highlights that there were fewer IP related lawsuits in the US in 2008 than in 2007. The drop was about 10%: from 10,276 to 9,210. However, the reasoning given in the report for the decline is difficult to square with reality. It claims that: "The trend reflects the success of the recording industry in protecting its copyrights, leading the industry to bring fewer lawsuits in the past few years." That isn't even close to accurate. The RIAA has had very little success protecting its copyrights. The legal strategy has been a colossal failure, without a single legal win that held up, and file sharing has only grown over time. Hell, the RIAA has admitted failure in their lawsuit strategy, hence the decision to cut back on them (not end them, completely, as was originally claimed). So, it's difficult to see how anyone could conclude that the program was a success, and resulted in fewer lawsuits. And, of course, the aggregate numbers may not be all that telling, either. In the past, patent system defenders have noted a drop in cases filed recently, but they fail to note that it was because more patent litigation these days is filed against a long list of companies, rather than just one or two. So, in actuality, more companies are getting sued for patent infringement, even if there are fewer overall lawsuits.
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