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Patent assertion entities and patent ownership transparency: strategic recording of patent transactions at the USPTO

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  • Valerio STERZI

Abstract

Many PAEs hide behind dozens of unknown subsidiaries or shell companies with obscure ownership. Meanwhile, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), like many other patent offices, does not impose a strict time period for recording the change of ownership of a patent, allowing the holder to gain an advantage by controlling the timing of its ownership disclosure. In this paper we analyze recording lags in patent transactions (defined as the time lag from the execution of the patent assignment to USPTO recording) and show that PAEs strategically notify the patent office of the transaction as a function of their litigation strategies. In particular, OLS estimates suggest that for every ten days that separate the date of the start of the litigation from the execution of the patent transaction, PAEs delay the recordation of the transaction by almost four days (while the lag is about two days when the assignee is a product company). Longer recording lags are especially,associated with transactions related to patents transferred to PAEs in the ICT sector, that are litigated in the District Court in the Eastern District of Texas and that are acquired by PAEs through unknown subsidiaries.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:grt:bdxewp:2020-19
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    File URL: http://bordeauxeconomicswp.u-bordeaux.fr/2020/2020-19.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luigi Orsenigo & Valerio Sterzi, 2010. "Comparative Study of the Use of Patents in Different Industries," KITeS Working Papers 033, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised 2010.
    2. Stuart J. H. Graham & Alan C. Marco & Amanda F. Myers, 2018. "Patent transactions in the marketplace: Lessons from the USPTO Patent Assignment Dataset," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 343-371, September.
    3. 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).
    4. James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2008. "Introduction to Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk," Introductory Chapters, in: Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk, Princeton University Press.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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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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