The effect of patent litigation insurance: theory and evidence from NPEs


Ganglmair, Bernhard ; Helmers, Christian ; Love, Brian J.


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URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/57674
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-576740
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2020
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 20-037
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
School of Law and Economics > Innovation u. Wettbewerb (Ganglmair 2020-)
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: G22 , K41 , O34,
Keywords (English): NPEs , patents , insurance , litigation
Abstract: We analyze the extent to which private defensive litigation insurance deters patent assertion by non-practicing entities (NPEs). We study the effect that a patent-specific defensive insurance product, offered by a leading litigation insurer, had on the litigation behavior of insured patents’ owners, all of which are NPEs. We first model the impact of defensive litigation insurance on the behavior of patent enforcers and accused infringers. We show that the availability of defensive litigation insurance can have an effect on how often patent enforcers will assert their patents. We confirm this result empirically showing that the insurance policy had a large, negative effect on the likelihood that a patent included in the policy was subsequently asserted relative to other patents held by the same NPEs and relative to patents held by other NPEs with portfolios that were entirely excluded from the insurance product. Our findings suggest that market-based mechanisms can deter so-called “patent trolling.”




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