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Broad cross-license agreements and persuasive patent litigation: theory and evidence from the semiconductor industry

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  • Alberto Galasso
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    Abstract

    In many industries broad cross-license agreements are considered a useful method to obtain freedom to operate and to avoid patent litigation. In this paper I study the previously neglected dynamic trade-off between litigating and cross-licensing that firms face to protect their intellectual property. I present a model of bargaining with learning in which firms’ decisions to litigate or crosslicense depend on their investments in technology specific assets. In particular the model predicts that where firms’ sunk costs are higher, their incentive to litigate and delay a cross-license agreement is lower. In addition, the bargaining game shows how firms with intermediate values of asset specificity tend to engage in inefficient "persuasive litigation". Using a novel dataset on the US semiconductor industry I obtain empirical results consistent with those suggested by the model. Combining model intuition with some empirical figures, I evaluate possible effects of the currently debated patent litigation reform.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6718/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 6718.

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    Length: 46 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6718

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    Related research

    Keywords: cross-license; patent litigation; bargaining; semiconductors;

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    1. Ornaghi, Carmine, 2006. "Mergers and innovation: the case of the pharmaceutical industry," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0605, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    2. Fershtman, C. & Kamien, M.I., 1991. "Cross Licensing of Complementary Technologies," Papers 1-91, Tel Aviv.
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    5. Siebert, Ralph & Graevenitz, Georg von, 2006. "How Licensing Resolves Hold-Up: Evidence from a Dynamic Panel Data Model with Unobserved Heterogeneity," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 105, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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    7. Yasutora Watanabe, 2005. "Learning and Bargaining in Dispute Resolution: Theory and Evidence from Medical Malpractice Litigation," 2005 Meeting Papers 440, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    13. Kennan, J. & Wilson, R., 1991. "Bargaining with Private Information," Working Papers 90-01rev, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
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    15. Kamien, Morton I & Tauman, Yair, 2002. "Patent Licensing: The Inside Story," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(1), pages 7-15, January.
    16. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1984. "Tobit models: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 3-61.
    17. Hall, Bronwyn H & Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, 2001. "The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 101-28, Spring.
    18. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole & Marcin Strojwas, 2003. "Cooperative Marketing Agreements Between Competitors: Evidence from Patent Pools," NBER Working Papers 9680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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