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Financing and the Protection of Innovators

  • Llobet, Gerard
  • Suarez, Javier

The protection that innovators obtain through intellectual property rights crucially depends on their incentives and ability to litigate infringers. Taking patents as a notable example, we study how the financing of legal costs can alter the incentives to litigate in defence of a patent and, thus, the prospects of infringement and the effective protection of the innovator. We compare the resort to a financier once the infringement has occurred (ex-post financing) with patent litigation insurance (PLI) as well as other ex-ante arrangements based on leverage. We show that the ex-ante arrangements can be designed (for instance, in the case of PLI, by including an appropriate deductible) so as to implement the innovator’s second-best outcome: a situation in which patent predation is deterred without inducing excessive litigation.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4944.

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Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4944
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  1. Claude Crampes & Corinne Langinier, 2002. "Litigation and Settlement in Patent Infringement Cases," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(2), pages 258-274, Summer.
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  4. Reiko Aoki & Jin-Li Hu, 1999. "Licensing vs. Litigation: The Effect of the Legal System on Incentives to Innovate," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 133-160, 03.
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  7. Choi, Jay Pil, 1998. "Patent Litigation as an Information-Transmission Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1249-63, December.
  8. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Chang, Howard F, 1996. "An Analysis of Fee Shifting Based on the Margin of Victory: On Frivolous Suits, Meritorious Suits, and the Role of Rule 11," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 371-403, June.
  9. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
  10. Vojislav Maksimovic, 1988. "Capital Structure in Repeated Oligopolies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 389-407, Autumn.
  11. Lanjouw, Jean O & Schankerman, Mark, 2004. "Protecting Intellectual Property Rights: Are Small Firms Handicapped?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(1), pages 45-74, April.
  12. 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.
  13. Llobet, Gerard, 2003. "Patent litigation when innovation is cumulative," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(8), pages 1135-1157, October.
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