Research Handbook on the Economics of Intellectual Property Law
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Research Handbook on the Economics of Intellectual Property Law

Vol 1: Theory Vol 2: Analytical Methods

Edited by Ben Depoorter, Peter Menell and David Schwartz

Both law and economics and intellectual property law have expanded dramatically in tandem over recent decades. This field-defining two-volume Handbook, featuring the leading legal, empirical, and law and economics scholars studying intellectual property rights, provides wide-ranging and in-depth analysis both of the economic theory underpinning intellectual property law, and the use of analytical methods to study it.
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Chapter 19: Patent trolls

Jay P. Kesan


This chapter reviews studies of non-practicing entities (NPEs) (aka “patent trolls”) and their effect on the United States patent system. The information presented is not intended to pass judgment or persuade readers that NPEs are definitively beneficial or detrimental to the patent system, but rather seeks to inspire readers to assess the issue of NPEs from a more informed and detailed perspective. There are varying opinions and interpretations regarding NPEs, their behavior, and the effects of their behavior. Current empirical studies offer mixed evidence and conclusions regarding the effect of NPEs on the patent system. After reading this chapter, a researcher will be capable of determining substantial differences in the behavior and characteristics amongst the various types of NPEs. This would further help the researcher to differentiate which kinds of NPEs’ behavior are detrimental and which are favorable to the patent system.

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