The Patent Litigation Explosion

41 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2005  

James E. Bessen

Boston University - School of Law; Research on Innovation

Michael J. Meurer

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: October 20, 2005

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.

Keywords: patent, litigation, settlement, licensing, property rights

JEL Classification: O31, O34, K41

Suggested Citation

Bessen, James E. and Meurer, Michael J., The Patent Litigation Explosion (October 20, 2005). Boston Univ. School of Law Working Paper No. 05-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=831685 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.831685

James E. Bessen (Contact Author)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Research on Innovation ( email )

202 High Head Rd.
Harpswell, ME 04079
United States
617-531-2092 (Phone)

Michael J. Meurer

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-6292 (Phone)
617-353-3077 (Fax)

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