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Stylized Facts of Patent Litigation: Value, Scope and Ownership

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  • Jean O. Lanjouw
  • Mark Schankerman
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the characteristics of litigated patents by combining for the first" time information about patent case filings from the U.S. district courts and detailed data from the" U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. We construct a series of indicators for the factors which the" theoretical literature suggests contribute to litigation: the frequency of disputes asymmetry of stakes, the structure of information, and costs. Compared to a random sample of" U.S. patents from the same cohorts and technology areas, we find that more valuable patents and" those with domestic owners are considerably more likely to be involved in litigation. Patents" owned by individuals are at least as likely to be the subject of a case as corporate patents and" litigation is particularly frequent in new technology areas. We interpret the results with reference" to theoretical models of litigation and settlement and discuss what they suggest about the effect" of patent litigation on the incentives to invest in R&D.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6297.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6297.

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    Date of creation: Dec 1997
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6297

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    1. Joel Waldfogel, 1993. "The Selection Hypothesis and the Relationship between Trial and Plaintiff Victory," NBER Working Papers 4508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
    3. Tarun Khanna & Bharat N. Anand, 1996. "Intellectual Property Rights and Contract Structure," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm37, Yale School of Management.
    4. Jerry R. Green & Suzanne Scotchmer, 1995. "On the Division of Profit in Sequential Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(1), pages 20-33, Spring.
    5. Fournier, Gary M & Zuehlke, Thomas W, 1989. "Litigation and Settlement: An Empirical Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 189-95, May.
    6. Hughes, James W & Snyder, Edward A, 1989. "Policy Analysis of Medical Malpractice Reforms: What Can We Learn from Claims Data?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 7(4), pages 423-31, October.
    7. Waldfogel, Joel, 1998. "Reconciling Asymmetric Information and Divergent Expectations Theories of Litigation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 451-76, October.
    8. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
    9. Kathryn E. Spier, 1994. "Pretrial Bargaining and the Design of Fee-Shifting Rules," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 197-214, Summer.
    10. Jean O. Lanjouw & Josh Lerner, 1996. "Preliminary Injunctive Relief: Theory and Evidence from Patent Litigation," NBER Working Papers 5689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Louis Kaplow, 1994. "Shifting Plaintiffs' Fees versus Increasing Damage Awards," NBER Working Papers 4263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Ricardo J. Caballero & Adam B. Jaffe, 1993. "How High are the Giants' Shoulders: An Empirical Assessment of Knowledge Spillovers and Creative Destruction in a Model of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jean O. Lanjouw & Ariel Pakes & Jonathan Putnam, 1996. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," NBER Working Papers 5741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    15. Jean Olson Lanjouw, 1993. "Patent Protection: Of What Value and for How Long?," NBER Working Papers 4475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-95, October.
    17. Wittman, Donald, 1988. "Dispute Resolution, Bargaining, and the Selection of Cases for Trial: A Study of the Generation of Biased and Unbiased Data," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 313-52, June.
    18. Waterson, Michael, 1990. "The Economics of Product Patents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 860-69, September.
    19. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1989. "Economic Analysis of Legal Disputes and Their Resolution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1067-97, September.
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