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Non-practicing entities and transparency in patent ownership in Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Valerio Sterzi
  • Jean-Paul Rameshkoumar
  • Johannes Van Der Pol

Abstract

Non-practicing entities (NPEs) file or buy patents from a variety of sources and employ them primarily to obtain license fees by asserting them against accused infringers, without any intention of using the invention they protect. This report gives unique insight into how NPEs game Europe’s patent system for profit. The report also provides further evidence that the problem of NPEs is migrating to Europe from the US, and it proposes policy responses to increase patent ownership transparency. The report is largely based on forensic original research into two cases. These cases point to a serious lack of transparency in patent and corporate ownership. They demonstrate how shell or dormant companies, often of unknown ownership and commonly established in the UK, are used to acquire European patents, and how these companies exploit those patents in courts in the European Union – especially Germany. The report also shows that due to the lack of transparency of patent ownership, the problem of NPEs gaming the system is almost certainly far worse than the report states.

Suggested Citation

  • Valerio Sterzi & Jean-Paul Rameshkoumar & Johannes Van Der Pol, 2020. "Non-practicing entities and transparency in patent ownership in Europe," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2020-10, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
  • Handle: RePEc:grt:bdxewp:2020-10
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    File URL: http://bordeauxeconomicswp.u-bordeaux.fr/2020/2020-10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Academic spotlight (I): Sterzi, Rameshkoumar and Van der Pol on NPE activity
      by Merpel McKitten in The IPKat on 2020-07-25 10:30:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Valerio STERZI, 2020. "Patent assertion entities and patent ownership transparency: strategic recording of patent transactions at the USPTO," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2020-19, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Non-practicing entities; Patent trolls; Patent litigation; Patent ownership transparency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights

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