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Patent litigation redux reduxed

Josh Lerner studied the patent awards and lawsuits of 530 companies based in Middlesex County Massachusetts during Jan. 1990 and June 1994.  He found among these companies that “approximately 6 patent suits are filed for each 100 corporate patent awards.”  In reaching this estimate, he noted that companies generally litigate patent cases in their headquarters district, because they can use their familiar outside counsel and make greater use of internal counsel. 

Lerner ’s paper, at, states also that “patent litigation with the USPTO and the Federal Courts begun in 1991 will lead to total legal expenditures (in 1991 dollars) of about $1 billion.”  He did not say how many cases that figure covered, but did point out that the costs amounted to almost 25 percent of what U.S. firms spent that year on basic research! [See my posts about patent litigation costs on March 6, 10, and 29, 2005.]