Common sense suggests that patent litigation activity should be affected – at least to some degree – by economic conditions. Unfortunately, relatively few, if any, publications report on such relationships. This paper attempts to address this deficiency. Part I frames the question which this work attempts to answer and the motivation behind the question. Part II discusses various economic indicators and suggests a particular indicator (i.e., GDP) to be used for subsequent comparison with patent-related litigation statistics. Part III compiles and summarizes various US patent-related litigation statistics. These include statistics for both US district courts and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Part IV evaluates relationships between US GDP and the litigation statistics compiled in Part III. Part V provides conclusory remarks concerning the suggested relationships between changes in the US economy and US patent litigation activity.
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