Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Do Standard-Essential Patent Owners Behave Opportunistically? Evidence from U.S. District Court Dockets

Do Standard-Essential Patent Owners Behave Opportunistically? Evidence from U.S. District Court Dockets

Brian J. Love

Santa Clara University School of Law

Yassine Lefouili

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Christian Helmers

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business; Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Abstract

Do owners of standard-essential patents (SEPs) "holdup" companies that produce standard-compliant products? To explore this question, we use detailed information from the dockets of all U.S. patent cases filed 2010-2019 that assert or challenge SEPs to construct measures of opportunistic conduct by SEP licensors, including actions that took place before the lawsuit was filed. We find evidence of opportunistic behavior by the SEP enforcer in at least 75% of SEP assertions in court, and we analyze various factors that determine which opportunistic behaviors SEP enforcers rely on. We also show that opportunistic behavior can affect case outcomes, although the effect on settlement is ambiguous. Some behaviors increase the likelihood of a settlement, while others decrease it.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2021/03/do-standard-essential-patent-owners-behave-opportunistically-evidence-from-us-district-court-dockets.html

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