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Patent Trolls and Technology Diffusion: The Case of Medical Imaging

Catherine E. Tucker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS)

April 14, 2014

Patent-assertion entities, sometimes known as `patent trolls,' do not manufacture goods themselves but profit from licensing agreements that they often enforce via the threat of litigation. This paper explores empirically how litigation by a patent troll affected the sales of medical imaging technology. It finds evidence that relative to similar products, made by the same firm, but not covered by the patent, imaging software sales declined by one-third. This was not due to a suppression in underlying demand by hospitals but instead is linked to a lack of incremental product innovation during the period of litigation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: Patents, Litigation, Patent Assertion Entities, Trolls, Healthcare IT, Technology, Hospital IT, Economics of Intellectual Property

JEL Classification: K0, O3

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Date posted: December 24, 2011 ; Last revised: October 28, 2014

Suggested Citation

Tucker, Catherine E., Patent Trolls and Technology Diffusion: The Case of Medical Imaging (April 14, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1976593 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1976593

Contact Information

Catherine E. Tucker (Contact Author)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS) ( email )
100 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
HOME PAGE: http://cetucker.scripts.mit.edu
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