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Antitrust Limits to Patent Settlements

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  • Carl Shapiro

    (Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

This paper focuses on the class of legal rules that governs intellectual property rights: the antitrust limits imposed on patent settlements. The paper discusses the benefits and costs of settlements and explains why antitrust limits on settlements are needed to prevent abuse of the settlement process. It develops a general rule for evaluating proposed settlements. This paper explores a simple antitrust rule governing settlements of intellectual property disputes: a settlement cannot lead to lower expected consumer surplus than would have arisen from ongoing litigation. It argues that this rule respects intellectual property rights while encouraging efficient settlements. Under extremely general conditions, there exists a settlement that leaves consumers better off and raises the joint profits of the two firms engaged in the dispute. This general test is then applied to several types of settlements: mergers; agreements specifying the timing of entry; and patent pools.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/le/papers/0303/0303004.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Law and Economics with number 0303004.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 27 Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0303004

Note: 42 pages, Adobe.pdf
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. 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.
  2. Samuel Kortum & Josh Lerner, 1997. "Stronger Protection or Technological Revolution: What is Behind the Recent Surge in Patenting?," NBER Working Papers 6204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Richard J. Gilbert and Willard K. Tom, 2001. "Is Innovation King at the Antitrust Agencies?: The Intellectual Property Guidelines Five Years Later," Economics Working Papers EC01-301, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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