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Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights

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  • Jean Olson Lanjouw
  • Mark Schankerman

Abstract

We study the determinants of patent suits and their outcomes over the period 1978-1999 by linking detailed information from the U.S. patent office, the federal court system, and industry sources. The probability of being involved in a suit is heterogeneous, being much higher for valuable patents and for patents owned by individuals and smaller firms. Thus the patent system generates incentives, net of expected enforcement costs, that differ across inventors. Patentees with a large portfolio of patents to trade, or having other characteristics that encourage "cooperative" interaction with disputants, more successfully avoid court actions. At the same time, key post-suit outcomes do not depend on observed characteristics. This is good news: advantages in settlement are exercised quickly, before extensive legal proceedings consume both court and firm resources. But it is bad news in that the more frequent involvement of smaller patentees in court actions is not offset by a more rapid resolution of their suits. However, our estimates of the heterogeneity in litigation risk can facilitate development of private patent litigation to mitigate this adverse effect of high enforcement costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean Olson Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2001. "Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 30, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stieip:30
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christine Greenhalgh & Padraig Dixon, 2002. "The Economics of Intellectual Property: A Review to Identify Themes for Future Research," Economics Series Working Papers 135, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Juranek, Steffen, 2015. "Investing in legal advice - What determines the costs of enforcing intellectual property rights?," Discussion Papers 2015/20, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    3. Bronwyn H. Hall & Stuart Graham & Dietmar Harhoff & David C. Mowery, 2004. "Prospects for Improving U.S. Patent Quality via Postgrant Opposition," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 4, pages 115-144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Penin, Julien, 2005. "Patents versus ex post rewards: A new look," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 641-656, June.
    5. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2003. "Business Method Patents, Innovation, and Policy," NBER Working Papers 9717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Clément Bonnet, 2017. "Measuring Inventive Performance with Patent Data: an Application to Low Carbon Energy Technologies," Working Papers 1709, Chaire Economie du climat.
    7. Graham, Stuart J.H. & Harhoff, Dietmar, 2006. "Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 38, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    8. Srinivasan, Raji & Lilien, Gary L. & Rangaswamy, Arvind, 2008. "Survival of high tech firms: The effects of diversity of product–market portfolios, patents, and trademarks," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 119-128.
    9. Clément Bonnet, 2016. "Measuring Knowledge with Patent Data: an Application to Low Carbon Energy Technologies," EconomiX Working Papers 2016-37, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    10. Clement Bonnet, 2020. "Measuring Knowledge with Patent Data: an Application to Low Carbon Energy Technologies," Working Papers hal-02971680, HAL.
    11. Patrick Cohendet & Matthieu Farcot & Julien Pénin, 2009. "Intellectual property in a knowledge-based economy : Patents to include vs. patents to exclude," Working Papers of BETA 2009-15, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Parents; court actions; settement.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process

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