University Initiation of Patent Infringement Litigation

73 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2011 Last revised: 3 Jan 2015

See all articles by Jacob H. Rooksby

Jacob H. Rooksby

Gonzaga University - School of Law

Date Written: June 16, 2011


While the literature examining university engagement in patenting and technology transfer is quite developed, commentators largely have overlooked university involvement in patent litigation. This article focuses on one aspect of that involvement - initiation of patent infringement litigation - by providing a quantitative and textual analysis of patent infringement actions initiated by universities from 2009 through 2010. Suing for-profit actors for money may seem antithetical to the mission of not-for-profit universities, but in fact universities filed over fifty such cases in the studied time period. Examination of these cases reveals a remarkable similarity between the litigation behavior of universities and for-profit actors, as well as complex and varied relationships between universities, their licensees, and research foundations closely affiliated with universities. These findings situate within a larger conversation over the commercial, political, and social implications of science, education, and innovation and suggest that further attention to the activity is warranted, given the substantial public investments in both public and private higher education that result in patentable inventions.

Keywords: patent infringement litigation, universities, technology transfer

Suggested Citation

Rooksby, Jacob H., University Initiation of Patent Infringement Litigation (June 16, 2011). John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law, Vol. 10, No. 4, p. 623, 2011, Available at SSRN:

Jacob H. Rooksby (Contact Author)

Gonzaga University - School of Law ( email )

721 N. Cincinnati Street
Spokane, WA 99220-3528
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics