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Delayed entry settlements at the patent office

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  • Hovenkamp, Erik
  • Lemus, Jorge

Abstract

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is a recently-formed division of the Patent Office in which patents can be challenged as invalid, and which differs from federal courts in a number of respects. We investigate whether monopolist-patentees and their prospective rivals are using the PTAB—which has not previously received antitrust attention—as a platform for striking settlements that delay the rivals’ entry. Such settlements are common in pharmaceutical markets, and are typically antitrust violations in cases where the patentee pays the challenger (“pay for delay”). However, problematic statutory inducements lead to excessively-delayed competition even in lieu of such payments. Our empirical findings suggest that delayed entry settlements are now commonly executed in the PTAB, and that they comprise a large majority of all PTAB settlements reached between pharmaceutical rivals. Further, nearly half of the delayed entry settlements were reached after the relevant patent claims were deemed “reasonably likely” to be invalid.

Suggested Citation

  • Hovenkamp, Erik & Lemus, Jorge, 2018. "Delayed entry settlements at the patent office," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 30-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:30-38
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2017.10.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 129-151, Spring.
    2. Mark A. Lemley & Carl Shapiro, 2005. "Probabilistic Patents," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 75-98, Spring.
    3. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
    4. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," NBER Working Papers 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Shapiro, Carl, 2003. "Antitrust Limits to Patent Settlements," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 391-411, Summer.
    6. Jay Pil Choi, 2005. "Live and Let Live: A Tale of Weak Patents," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 724-733, 04/05.
    7. Eric Helland & Seth A. Seabury, 2016. "Are Settlements in Patent Litigation Collusive? Evidence from Paragraph IV Challenges," NBER Working Papers 22194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Lemus & Emil Temnyalov, 2020. "Pay-for-Delay with Follow-On Products," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 56(4), pages 697-714, June.
    2. Anton‐Giulio Manganelli, 2021. "Reverse payments, patent strength, and asymmetric information," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(1), pages 20-35, January.

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