Technology and communications companies rank third on the list of U.S. and U.K. industries with the most litigation, according a new survey of manufacturing companies.
The survey by the law firm Fulbright & Jaworski, a leading intellectual-property litigator based in New York and Houston, found that the average U.S. manufacturer currently faces 40 lawsuits. Of those, an average of 18 were initiated in the last year.
While product liability remains the largest generator of lawsuits, the survey found that intellectual property disputes are an emerging problem, especially for technology companies. IP and patent lawsuits accounted for an estimated 13 percent of U.S. corporate litigation last year and 16 percent in the U.K. Only contract disputes, labor and employment, personal injury and product liability cases ranked higher than IP lawsuits, the law firm found.
One reason litigation is soaring, the survey found, is the emergence of “electronic discovery” techniques, especially in the U.S. “Electronic discovery was the number one new litigation-related issue for companies with revenues over $100 million,” the survey found. “So far, it’s impact appears to have been felt far less in the U.K. than in the U.S.”