Flight from Quantity...Flight to Quality? A Differences in Differences Analysis of Patent Applications and Complaints Following Patent Reform (Presentation Slides)
26 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2019
Date Written: December 16, 2018
In 2014-2015, policymakers made changes to the patent system that were intended to decrease abusive litigation and increase the quality of patents and complaints. The changes included the Octane Fitness & Highmark (fee-shifting, Alice (patentable subject matter), Teva, and Williamson cases (definitness) and Form 18 reform (pleading standards). Have they worked, based on looking at complaints and applications pre-and post-change?
In this analysis, initially presented to the FTC's Hearings on Innovation and Competition in Oct 2018, and performed with Santa Clara Law Students Nicholas Halkowski, Marvin Mercado, Priyanka Vyas, we document the following changes: patent complaints across technology areas are much more likely to contain claim charts and product details than they were in the pre-2014 period; using a differences in differences approach, software claims are longer, narrower (based on unique words), and software applications are longer, relative to non-s/w claims; we also find a decline in scale (10+) and NPE (both PAE and non-PAE) assertions.
The data suggests that patent reform has had one of its intended impacts, of increasng the quality of patent applications and complaints.
Keywords: patents, empirical legal studies, patent reform, patent litigation, patent prosecution, civil procedure
JEL Classification: K20, L51, O31, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation