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Protecting intellectual property rights: are small firms handicapped?

Lanjouw, Jean O. and Schankerman, Mark (2004) Protecting intellectual property rights: are small firms handicapped? The Journal of Law and Economics, 47 (1). pp. 45-74. ISSN 0022-2186

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Abstract

This paper studies the determinants of patent suits and settlements during 1978-99 by linking information from the U.S. patent office, the federal courts, and industry sources. We find that litigation risk is much higher for patents that are owned by individuals and firms with small patent portfolios. Patentees with a large portfolio of patents to trade, or other characteristics that facilitate “cooperative” resolution of disputes, are much less likely to prosecute infringement suits. However, postsuit outcomes do not depend on these characteristics. These findings show that small patentees are at a significant disadvantage in protecting their patent rights because their greater litigation risk is not offset by more rapid resolution of their suits. Our empirical estimates of the heterogeneity in litigation risk can help in developing private patent litigation insurance to mitigate the adverse affects of high enforcement costs.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/loi/jle
Additional Information: © 2004 Chicago University Press
Library of Congress subject classification: K Law > K Law (General)
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Departments > Economics
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 23 May 2008 09:25
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/5016/

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