The number of patent cases filed in US courts has fallen for the first time in more than a decade, according to a study carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
In 2005 the number of filed patent cases fell to 2,720 from 3,075 in 2004 - a fall of 11.5 per cent.
The amount of patent cases had grown year-on-year since 1991, when 1,171 cases were filed in the US.
Even with the downturn, the number of patent disputes has grown by 232 per cent in the past 15 years.
In that same period trademark cases have increased by 65 per cent, from 2,220 in 1991 to 3,668 in 2005.
The study also found that claimants won around 35 per cent of cases overall in the US, but discovered that this figure increased to 63 per cent in cases heard in the US District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin.