Patent Litigation and Cost of Capital
31 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 01, 2012
Involvement in patent litigation creates substantial direct and indirect costs for firms. We present evidence that pairs of firms involved in patent litigation are more evenly-matched in financial profiles than pairs of firms not involved in litigation. We take advantage of a novel, hand-collected data set that combines data on observed instances of patent litigation with product-level data to form dyadic plaintiffs-defendant pairs at risk of litigation in the semiconductor industry from 1984 to 2000. Product-level data for more than 200,000 semiconductor devices coupled with firm patent data allows us to construct fine-grained controls for risk of litigation between pairs of potential litigants. We consider several variables associated with a firm’s cost of capital: 1) the Whited and Wu (2006) index for financing constraints, 2) analyst coverage, and 3) institutional ownership concentration. We find evidence that, controlling for technological and product overlap, pairs of firms involved in litigation are more similar in terms of financing constraint, analyst coverage, and institutional ownership concentration than pairs of firms not involved in litigation.
Keywords: patent litigation, cost of capital
JEL Classification: G32, O34
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