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The Patent Litigation Explosion

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  • James Bessen

    () (Research on Innovation, Boston University School of Law)

  • Michael J. Meurer

Abstract

This paper provides the first look at patent litigation hazards for public firms during the 80s and 90s. Consistent with our model, litigation is more likely when prospective defendants spend more on R&D, when prospective plaintiffs acquire more patents and when firms are larger and technologically close. Public firms face dramatically increased hazards of litigation as plaintiffs and even more rapidly increasing hazards as defendants, especially for small public firms. The increase cannot be explained by patenting rates, R&D, firm value or industry composition. Legal changes are the most likely explanation.

Suggested Citation

  • James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2005. "The Patent Litigation Explosion," Working Papers 0501, Research on Innovation.
  • Handle: RePEc:roi:wpaper:0501
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael J. Meurer, 1989. "The Settlement of Patent Litigation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(1), pages 77-91, Spring.
    2. James E. Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2006. "Patent Litigation with Endogenous Disputes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 77-81, May.
    3. James Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2005. "The Patent Litigation Explosion," Working Papers 0501, Research on Innovation.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ponce, Carlos J., 2007. "More secrecy... more knowledge disclosure? : On disclosure outside of patents," UC3M Working papers. Economics we077241, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    2. Andreas Panagopoulos & Christos N. Pitelis, 2010. "Open innovation and the management of intra-firm conflict," International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(3/4), pages 295-307.
    3. Fischer, Timo & Henkel, Joachim, 2013. "Complements and substitutes in profiting from innovation—A choice experimental approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 326-339.
    4. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-367 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2007. "Patents only live twice: a patent survival analysis in Europe," Working Papers CEB 07-028.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Su, Hsin-Ning, 2017. "Collaborative and Legal Dynamics of International R&D- Evolving Patterns in East Asia," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 217-227.
    8. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2008. "Patents and Academic Research: A State of the Art," Working Papers CEB 08-013.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Malte Mosel, 2011. "Big patents, small secrets: how firms protect inventions when R&D outcome is heterogeneous," Working Papers 105, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    10. Choi, Jay Pil, 2009. "Alternative damage rules and probabilistic intellectual property rights: Unjust enrichment, lost profits, and reasonable royalty remedies," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 145-157, June.
    11. Chondrakis, George, 2016. "Unique synergies in technology acquisitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1873-1889.
    12. Lee, Pei-Chun & Su, Hsin-Ning, 2014. "How to forecast cross-border patent infringement? — The case of U.S. international trade," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 125-131.
    13. Bessen, James, 2008. "The value of U.S. patents by owner and patent characteristics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 932-945, June.
    14. Andreas Panagopoulos & In-Uck Park, 2008. "Patent Protection, Takeovers, and Startup Innovation: A Dynamic Approach," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/201, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    15. Franzoni, Chiara & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2010. "The grace period in international patent law and its effect on the timing of disclosure," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 200-213, March.
    16. Hikkerova, Lubica & Kammoun, Niaz & Lantz, Jean-Sébastien, 2014. "Patent life cycle: New evidence," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 313-324.
    17. Birgitte Andersen & Federica Rossi, 2011. "Intellectual property governance and knowledge creation in UK universities," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(8), pages 701-725, September.
    18. Katrin Cremers, 2009. "Settlement during patent litigation trials. An empirical analysis for Germany," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 182-195, April.
    19. James E. Bessen & Michael J. Meurer, 2006. "Patent Litigation with Endogenous Disputes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 77-81, May.
    20. Fischer, Timo & Henkel, Joachim, 2012. "Patent trolls on markets for technology – An empirical analysis of NPEs’ patent acquisitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1519-1533.
    21. repec:spr:scient:v:92:y:2012:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0716-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "Does fragmented or heterogeneous IP ownership stifle investments in innovation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-096, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    23. Bessen, James, 2009. "Estimates of patent rents from firm market value," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1604-1616, December.
    24. Pitelis, Christos & Panagopoulosi, Andreas, 2009. "Innovation Governance for Value Capture -The Problem and a Proposed Simple Model-based Solution," Papers DYNREG42, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

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