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Antitrust Limits to Patent Settlements

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  • Shapiro, Carl

Abstract

Patents, patent litigation, and patent settlements increasingly influence competition. Settlements of patent disputes come in many forms, including licensing and cross-licensing agreements, patent pools, mergers, and joint ventures. While frequently procompetitive, such settlements can stifle competition and harm consumers. I propose a specific antitrust rule limiting such settlements: a settlement must leave consumers at least as well off as they would have been from ongoing patent litigation. After establishing that profitable settlements satisfying this constraint generally exist, I show how this antitrust rule can be used to evaluate three types of settlements: mergers, patent pools, and negotiated entry dates. Copyright 2003 by the RAND Corporation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
Pages: 391-411

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:34:y:2003:i:2:p:391-411

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References

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  1. Mark Schankerman, 1998. "How Valuable is Patent Protection? Estimates by Technology Field," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 77-107, Spring.
  2. Richard Gilbert & Carl Shapiro, 1997. "Antitrust Issues in the Licensing of Intellectual Property: The Nine No-No's Meet the Nineties," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1997 Micr), pages 283-349.
  3. Howard F. Chang, 1995. "Patent Scope, Antitrust Policy, and Cumulative Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(1), pages 34-57, Spring.
  4. Gilbert, Richard & Tom, Willard K, 2001. "Is Innovation King at the Antitrust Agencies? The Intellectual Property Guidelines Five Years Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4mf5t2bm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1996. "Protecting Early Innovators: Should Second-Generation Products Be Patentable?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 322-331, Summer.
  6. Lanjouw, Jean Olson, 1998. "Patent Protection in the Shadow of Infringement: Simulation Estimations of Patent Value," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 671-710, October.
  7. Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
  8. Shapiro, Carl, 2000. "Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard-Setting," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt4hs5s9wk, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2001. "Characteristics of Patent Litigation: A Window on Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 129-51, Spring.
  10. Josh Lerner, 2000. "Where Does State Street Lead? A First Look at Finance Patents, 1971-2000," NBER Working Papers 7918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1998. "Stronger protection or technological revolution: what is behind the recent surge in patenting?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 247-304, June.
  12. Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1985. "On the Licensing of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(4), pages 504-520, Winter.
  13. Schankerman, Mark & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2001. "Damages and Injunctions in Protecting Intellectual Property," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 199-220, Spring.
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