New Clarivate Report Reveals that the U.S., Germany and Mainland China have the most Non-Practicing Entity Litigation

Infringement declined globally from 2012 to 2019

London, U.K. May 16, 2024. Clarivate Plc (NYSE: CLVT), a leading global provider of transformative intelligence, today released the 2024 Non-Practicing Entity Global Litigation (NPE) Report to analyze NPE enforcement activities and their patent validity challenges across the globe. The report revealed that the United States, Germany and Mainland China are the three countries and regions with the most infringement cases filed by NPEs.

For this report, NPE is defined as an independent legal organization which owns or benefits from patent rights but does not sell or manufacture goods or provide goods-related services. Using the Clarivate Darts-ip™ database of patent case law, this report showed that among the countries and regions where most of infringement cases are filed by NPEs between 2018-2023, the U.S. accounts for 97.2% of the total, while Germany and Mainland China count for 1.8% and 0.4% respectively. However, the growth momentum differs in the top three countries when comparing 2012-2017 to 2018-2023. There was a 43% decrease in the number of U.S. NPE infringement cases, while the number in Mainland China increased 600% and Germany saw a strong decline starting in 2018.

This report showed that during 2012-2017, there was an undeniable trend of increasing patent validity challenges overall and of patent validity challenges filed against NPEs worldwide. While overall patent validity challenges slightly increased during 2018-2023, the number of patent validity challenges filed against NPEs worldwide slightly decreased.

Francois Neuville, Senior Vice President, Brand IP, Clarivate, said, “NPEs should now be considered as part of the patent ecosystem. These entities seek out courts where they can further monetize the value of their IP assets, using litigation as both leverage and means. As NPE litigation continues to evolve worldwide, analyzing trends using enriched data and insights can help support informed decisions for the future.”

Other key findings in the report include:

  • Overall, infringement action filed by NPEs declined globally from 2012 to 2019. Starting in 2020, NPE infringement cases began to stabilize at around 2,000 per year.
  • NPEs are well known for being active in Information and Communication Technologies (i.e. digital communication, telecommunications, computer technology and audio-visual technology). These technologies account for 64% of the patents asserted by NPEs in the U.S. and for 74% of the patents asserted by NPEs in EU.
  • Patents belonging to NPEs are being invalidated at greater frequency than non-NPEs. This may indicate that the NPEs are facing patent quality challenges.

Learn more about NPE litigation worldwide trends here.

# # #


For this report, we consider NPEs to be independent organizations (legal entities) which own or benefit from patent rights but do not sell or manufacture goods or services associated with them (i.e., non-operating companies) and which have an active (offensive) assertion or litigation role as plaintiffs towards the enforcement of their patent rights. Read our full methodology here.

About Clarivate

Clarivate™ is a leading global provider of transformative intelligence. We offer enriched data, insights & analytics, workflow solutions and expert services in the areas of Academia & Government, Intellectual Property and Life Sciences & Healthcare. For more information, please visit

Media contact

Jack Wan
External Communications Director

Subscribe to our news

Let's stay in touch. Subscribe to our latest announcements.