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Intellectual property rights as strategic assets: the case of european patent opposition in the telecommunication industry

Mario Calderini () and Giuseppe Scellato ()
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Giuseppe Scellato: Politecnico di Torino and Università degli Studi di Torino,

No 158, KITeS Working Papers from KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy

Abstract: The paper empirically investigates the phenomenon of patent litigation through the analysis of the all population of European patents’ opposition cases in the telecommunication industry. We recover the complete legal history of each dispute and the patent portfolios of the firms involved. We suggest that in an industry characterised by strong technological complementarities the distribution of patent rights may induce situations of mutual hold-up among innovators. The risk of retaliation through counter-suits represents a credible threat that can eventually favour the instauration of collusive behaviours. Our results confirm this hypothesis, since the occurrence of patent oppositions among large incumbents is significantly lower than industry average.

Keywords: patent litigation; strategic patenting; telecommunications (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K41 O34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004-07, Revised 2004-07
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