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The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s Impact on Patent Litigation

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  • Matthew D. Henry
  • John L. Turner

Abstract

More than 20 years after the establishment of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), research has yet to explain accurately the new court’s impact on patent litigation, patenting, and inventive activity. To address this shortcoming in the literature, we analyze a novel data set that permits us to consider separately the issues of validity and infringement in comparing the tendencies of the CAFC with those of its predecessor appeals courts. Our analysis of district and appellate decisions spanning 1953–2002 yields a recasting of the “pro-patent” nature of the CAFC: while it has been significantly more reluctant than its predecessors to affirm decisions of invalidity, it has not been more reluctant to affirm “not infringed” decisions. Because of the CAFC’s tendencies, district courts have decided patents to be invalid significantly less often, patentees have appealed decisions of invalidity significantly more often, and infringement has become the more frequently decisive inquiry.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew D. Henry & John L. Turner, 2006. "The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s Impact on Patent Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 85-117, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:35:y:2006:p:85-117
    DOI: 10.1086/498834
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Galasso, Alberto & Schankerman, Mark, 2013. "Patents and Cumulative Innovation:Causal Evidence from the Courts," IIR Working Paper 13-16, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Marco, Alan C., 2005. "Learning by Suing: Structural Estimates of Court Errors in Patent Litigation," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 68, Vassar College Department of Economics.
    3. Alberto Galasso & Mark Schankerman, 2008. "Patent Thickets and the Market for Innovation: Evidence from Settlement of Patent Disputes," CEP Discussion Papers dp0889, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    4. Katrin Cremers & Max Ernicke & Fabian Gaessler & Dietmar Harhoff & Christian Helmers & Luke McDonagh & Paula Schliessler & Nicolas Zeebroeck, 2017. "Patent litigation in Europe," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 1-44, August.
      • Cremers, Katrin & Ernicke, Max & Gaessler, Fabian & Harhoff, Dietmar & Helmers, Christian & McDonagh, Luke & Schliessler, Paula & Van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2013. "Patent litigation in Europe," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-072, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
      • Katrin Cremers & Max Ernicke & Fabian Gaessler & Dietmar Harhoff & Christian Helmers & Luke Mc Donagh & Paula Schliessler & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2017. "Patent litigation in Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/226239, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Hill, Walter A. & Hishaw, Jillian & Hargrove, Tasha M., 2013. "Socially Disadvantaged Farmer Issues can be Addressed When Diverse Frontline Agricultural Workers Proactively Work Together," Professional Agricultural Workers Journal (PAWJ), Professional Agricultural Workers Conference, vol. 1(1), pages 1-25.
    6. Amore, Mario Daniele & Schneider, Cédric & Žaldokas, Alminas, 2013. "Credit supply and corporate innovation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 835-855.
    7. Eli Dourado & Alex Tabarrok, 2015. "Public choice perspectives on intellectual property," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(1), pages 129-151, April.
    8. Gorkem Bostanci, 2019. "Intellectual Property Rights, Professional Business Services and Earnings Inequality," 2019 Meeting Papers 306, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Alberto Galasso & Mark Schankerman, 2010. "Patent thickets, courts, and the market for innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 472-503, September.
    10. Leiponen, Aija & Delcamp, Henry, 2019. "The anatomy of a troll? Patent licensing business models in the light of patent reassignment data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 298-311.
    11. Yang, Deli & Sonmez, Mahmut (Maho), 2018. "Global norm of national treatment for patent uncertainties: A longitudinal comparison between the US and China," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 164-176.
    12. Bessen, James & Neuhäusler, Peter & Turner, John L. & Williams, Jonathan, 2018. "Trends in private patent costs and rents for publicly-traded United States firms," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 53-69.
    13. Nancy Gallini, 2017. "Do patents work? Thickets, trolls and antibiotic resistance," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(4), pages 893-926, November.
    14. Florian Schuett, 2013. "Inventors and Impostors: An Analysis of Patent Examination with Self-Selection of Firms into R&D," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 660-699, September.
    15. Galasso, Alberto & Schankerman, Mark, 2008. "Patent thickets and the market for innovation: evidence from settlement of patent disputes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25474, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Lemus, Jorge & Marshall, Guillermo, 2018. "When the clock starts ticking: Measuring strategic responses to TRIPS's patent term change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 796-804.
    17. Scott E. Atkinson & Alan C. Marco & John L. Turner, 2009. "The Economics of a Centralized Judiciary: Uniformity, Forum Shopping, and the Federal Circuit," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 411-443, August.
    18. Galasso, Alberto & Schankerman, Mark, 2008. "Patent Thickets, Judicial Enforcement and the Market for Innovation: Theory and Evidence from Patent Litigation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6946, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Filitz, Rainer & Henkel, Joachim & Tether, Bruce S., 2015. "Protecting aesthetic innovations? An exploration of the use of registered community designs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 1192-1206.
    20. Kimberlee Weatherall & Elizabeth Webster, 2014. "Patent Enforcement: A Review Of The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 312-343, April.
    21. Marco, Alan C., 2006. "The Value of Certainty in Intellectual Property Rights: Stock Market Reactions to Patent Litigation," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 82, Vassar College Department of Economics.

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