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Trends in private patent costs and rents for publicly-traded United States firms

: Bessen, James E.; Neuhäusler, Peter; Turner, John L.; Williams, Jonathan W.

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Boston/MA: Boston University School of Law, 2015, 45 S.
Boston University School of Law. Public Law Research Paper, 13-24
Bericht, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ISI ()
event study; market-value regression; Patent; Litigation; non-practicing entities; research and development

We use detailed data to estimate the private costs and private rents of United States patents for publicly-traded firms. To estimate these costs, we combine lawsuit data from Derwent Litalert with non-practicing entity (NPE) lawsuits collected by Patent Freedom, and use an event-study approach to estimate losses suffered by alleged infringers during 1984-2009. To estimate these rents, we combine patent data from the USPTO and EPO with financial data from CRSP and COMPUSTAT, and use market-value regressions to estimate the value of patent rents for publicly-traded US firms during 1979-2002. We find that private costs exceed private rents during 1999-2000 and the trend in costs is sharply higher. Costs also exceed forecasts of rents for 2005-09. Surges in the number of NPE lawsuits contribute to the increase in the gap.