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Department ofEconomics


Patent Validity and Litigation: Evidence from U.S. Inter Partes Review,

Christian Helmers and Brian Love

Journal of Law and Economics


We analyze how new information concerning the validity of a patent impacts the settlement of patent infringe-ment litigation. A party accused of patent infringement in the U.S. may—in parallel with defending itself incourt— challenge the validity of the allegedly infringed patent by petitioning the Patent Trial and Appeal Board(PTAB), an administrative tribunal within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. PTAB proceedings generatenew information concerning the validity of challenged patents, and we study empirically the resulting effecton settlement of (i) the filing of a petition to challenge a patent’s validity and (ii) PTAB’s initial decision to“institute” (that is, grant) or deny the petition based on its assessment of a “reasonable likelihood” of invalidity.We find that both decision points have large, positive effects on the settlement of parallel court proceedings.

LSB Research, ECON, Christian Helmers, Forthcoming,