The following is excerpted from a September 27, 2010 article by Joe Mullin published at Courporate Counsel:
Stanford University law professor Mark Lemley's studies tend to make waves in the world of intellectual property. One reason: A lot of folks who inhabit that world seem to take offense at studies that scrutinize the value of patents, and especially patent litigation, as an engine of innovation.
Which is why previous Lemley studies, which found that patent defendants almost never copy anything, that engineers routinely ignore patents (so much for public notice), and that universities often behave similarly to "patent trolls" (that is, in ways that aren't likely to benefit the social good), have not been universally well-received by the patent bar.
Via Peter Zura, we learn this week about Lemley's newest study, performed together with Joshua Walker, a former Stanford colleague of Lemley's who heads up IP data-gathering firm Lex Machina, Inc., and John Allison, a business professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Lemley, Walker, and Allison examined every patent to be litigated eight or more times between 2000 and February 2009—a total of 106 that were asserted 2,987 times in 478 lawsuits.
The results of all that litigation aren't pretty. From an economic standpoint, the researchers posit, the fact that these patents are sued over so often should make them the most valuable ones, the crown jewels of innovation. What's the win rate for the plaintiffs wielding these heavily litigated patents? An incredibly low 10.7 percent, the researchers found.
Read the full article and access the links here.