Judging by the results of the 2010 edition of our annual Patent Litigation Survey, you might not guess that the number of patent suits filed in federal court fell last year. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, though, that’s just what happened: The number of new infringement claims brought in 2009 was down by 6 percent, compared to the 2008 total.

But while there may have been less litigation work to go around overall, there was certainly plenty to keep the top law firms in our rankings busy. Consider Fish & Richardson, which snagged the top spot on our overall list again. In 2008 Fish handled a combined total (plaintiffs plus defense) of 77 cases. In 2009, the firm’s total shot up to 99 cases — a 29 percent increase. Second-place finisher Kirkland & Ellis saw its docket surge from 57 cases in 2008 to 72 in 2009, a 26 percent jump.

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