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Patent Thickets and the Market for Innovation:Evidence from Settlement of Patent Disputes

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  • Alberto Galasso
  • Mark Schankerman
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    Abstract

    We study how fragmentation of patent rights ('patent thickets') and the formation of theCourt of Appeal for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affected the duration of patent disputes, andthus the speed of technology diffusion through licensing. We develop a model of patentlitigation which predicts faster settlement agreements when patent rights are fragmented andwhen there is less uncertainty about court outcomes, as was associated with the 'pro-patentshift' of CAFC. The model also predicts that the impact of fragmentation on settlementduration should be smaller under CAFC. We confirm these predictions empirically using adataset that covers nearly all patent suits in U.S. federal district courts during the period1975-2000. Finally, we analyze how fragmentation affects total settlement delay, taking intoaccount both reduction in duration per dispute and the increase in the number of requiredpatent negotiations associated with patent thickets.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers with number 46.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:cep:stieip:46

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    Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

    Related research

    Keywords: patents; anti-commons; patent thickets; litigation; settlement.;

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    Cited by:
    1. Shahid Yusuf & Kaoru Nabeshima, 2009. "Growth through Innovation : An Industrial Strategy for Shanghai," World Bank Other Operational Studies 18613, The World Bank.

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