These charts also show that the real growth in patent litigation is after the court gets involved but prior to the pre-trial conference. So there has been discovery and almost certainly a Markman ruling relating to the meaning of the claims.
What these charts also show is that the overwhelming majority of patent litigation ends with settlement, not a verdict. This becomes even more clear when you focus in on the total number of patent trials each year, which has averaged 99.9 trials per year since 1980. With such constant numbers of trials in the face of significant filing growth it is impossible to justify the claims that patent trials are out of control."