Friday, April 22, 2016

How Often Do Non-Practicing Entities Win Patent Suits?

John R. Allison, University of Texas - McCombs School of Business, Mark A. Lemley, Stanford Law School, and David L. Schwartz, Northwestern Law School ask How Often Do Non-Practicing Entities Win Patent Suits?

ABSTRACT: Much of the policy debate over the patent system has focused on the perceived problems with non-practicing entities (NPEs), also called patent trolls. Drawing on a comprehensive data set we built of every patent lawsuit filed in 2008 and 2009 that resulted in a ruling on the merits, we find that the situation is rather more complicated than simply operating companies vs. NPEs. While operating companies fare better in litigation than NPEs overall, breaking NPEs into different categories reveals more complexity. Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) in particular win very few cases. Further, once we remove certain pharmaceutical cases from the mix, no patent plaintiff fares very well. That is particularly true of software, computer, and electronics patents.

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