We use detailed data to estimate the private costs and private rents of United States patents for publicly-traded firms. In analyzing costs, we first introduce a novel theoretical model to interpret our estimates. We then 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 rents, we combine patent data from the USPTO and EPO with financial data from 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. A surge in the number of NPE lawsuits contributes to the increase in the gap.
James Bessen, Peter Neuhausler, John L. Turner & Jonathan Williams,
Trends in Private Patent Costs and Rents for Publicly-Traded United States Firms
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/3173