The number of patent lawsuits in the United States reached an all-time high of 6,088 cases last year, up from 5,418 new cases in 2012. According to Lex Machina's report on patent litigation, many of the lawsuits came from so-called patent monetization entities (also known as patent trolls), whose business model is to create income from licensing or litigating patents, rather than producing an actual product. All of the Top 10 plaintiffs fit the latter category, with some of them filing more than a hundred cases in 2013.
The most frequent target of patent lawsuits was no lesser company than Apple, who was a defendant in 59 cases. Ironically, Apple was also one of the largest beneficiaries of patent lawsuits last year. The company was awarded more than $800 million in damages from Samsung alone.