Dr. Fabian Gaessler

Senior Research Fellow

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

+49 89 24246-591
fabian.gaessler(at)ip.mpg.de

Personal Website

www.fabiangaessler.com

Areas of Interest

Innovation Research, Empirical Methods, Econometrics and Statistics, Empirical Industrial Organization, Technology Sourcing, Patent Transfers, Economics of Litigation, Economics of Innovation, Patent Enforcement

Academic Résumé

Since 2015
Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research)

2013 - 2015
Doctoral Candidate and Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research). Doctoral Thesis: "Enforcing and Trading Patents - Evidence for Europe"

2010 - 2013
Post-graduate Studies in Law and Economics at the International Max Planck Research School for Competition and Innovation

2009 - 2010
Master of Science in Organisation, Management and Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science, London

2008 - 2011
Honors Degree in Technology Management at the Center for Digital Technology and Management, Munich

2007 - 2010
Work Experience in the Consulting, Telecommunications and Academic Sector

2005 - 2009
Undergraduate Studies in Business Administration at LMU Munich and the University of California, Santa Barbara

Publications

Articles in Refereed Journals

Contreras, Jorge L.; Gaessler, Fabian; Helmers, Christian; Love, Brain J. (2018). Litigation of Standards-essential Patents in Europe – A Comparative Analysis, Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 32 (4), 1457-1488.

    Gaessler, Fabian; Harhoff, Dietmar; Sorg, Stefan (2017). Patents and Cumulative Innovation – Evidence from Post-Grant Patent Oppositions, Academy of Management Proceedings, 2017,1. DOI

    • Using large-scale data on opposition to patents at the European Patent Office (EPO), we investigate the causal effect of a patent’s invalidation on follow-on inventions. We introduce a new instrumental variable exploiting the participation or absence of the patent examiner in the opposition proceeding. According to our baseline model, patent invalidation leads to a highly significant and sizable increase of forward citations. While this is in line with previous studies, disentangling the effect leads us to results that stand in stark contrast to some of the literature. We find that the effects are most pronounced for patents in discrete technology areas, for areas where patent thickets are absent and for patents which are not protected by ""patent fences"". Moreover, the effect is particularly strong for relatively small patent holders facing comparatively small follow-on innovators.

    Cremers, Katrin; Ernicke, Max; Gaessler, Fabian; Harhoff, Dietmar; Helmers, Christian; McDonagh, Luke; Schliessler, Paula; van Zeebroeck, Nicolas (2017). Patent Litigation in Europe, European Journal of Law and Economics, 44 (1), 1-44. DOI

    • We compare patent litigation cases across four European jurisdictions—Germany, the UK (England and Wales), France, The Netherlands—using case-level data gathered from cases filed in the four jurisdictions during the period 2000–2008. Overall, we find substantial differences across jurisdictions in terms of caseloads—notably, courts in Germany hear by far the largest number of cases, not only in absolute terms, but also when taking macro-economic indicators into account—and we further find important cross-country variances in terms of case outcomes. Moreover, we show empirically that a considerable number of patents are litigated across multiple European jurisdictions; and further, that in the majority of these cases divergent case outcomes are reached across the different jurisdictions, suggesting that the long-suspected problem of inconsistency of decision-making in European patent litigation is in fact real. Finally, we note that the coming into force of the Unified Patent Court in Europe may, in the long term, help to alleviate this inconsistency problem.

    Cremers, Katrin; Gaessler, Fabian; Harhoff, Dietmar; Helmers, Christian; Lefouilid, Yassine (2016). Invalid but Infringed? An Analysis of the Bifurcated Patent Litigation System, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 131 (PA), 218-242. DOI

    • In bifurcated patent litigation systems, claims of infringement and validity of a patent are decided independently of each other in separate court proceedings at different courts. In non-bifurcated systems, infringement and validity are decided jointly in the same proceedings at a single court. We build a model that shows the key trade-off between bifurcated and non-bifurcated systems and how it affects the incentives of plaintiffs and defendants in patent infringement cases. Using detailed data on patent litigation cases in Germany (bifurcated) and the U.K. (non-bifurcated), we show that bifurcation creates situations in which a patent is held infringed that is subsequently invalidated. We also show that having to challenge a patent's validity in separate court proceedings under bifurcation implies that alleged infringers are less likely to do so. We find this to apply in particular to more resource-constrained alleged infringers. Finally, we find parties to be more likely to settle in a bifurcated system.
    • SSRN

    Contributions to Collected Editions

    Byrski, Dennis; Gaessler, Fabian (2018). Annex V - SPC Statistics to Chapter 7, in: Roberto Romandini, Reto M. Hilty, Annette Kur (eds.), Study on the Legal Aspects of Supplementary Protection Certificates in the EU - Final Report, 1-16. Brussels: European Commission.

      Gaessler, Fabian; Byrski, Dennis (2018). Chapter 7 - Overall Use of the SPC System in the EU, in: Roberto Romandini, Reto M. Hilty, Annette Kur (eds.), Study on the Legal Aspects of Supplementary Protection Certificates in the EU - Final Report, 91-105. Brussels: European Commission.

        Love, Brian J.; Helmers, Christian; Gaessler, Fabian; Ernicke, Maximilian (2017). Patent Assertion Entities in Europe, in: D. Daniel Sokol (ed.), Patent Assertion Entities and Competition Policy, 104-129. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

        • This book chapter presents the findings of an empirical study of U.K. and German patent litigation involving patent assertion entities (PAEs). Overall, we find that PAEs account for roughly ten percent of patent suits filed in these countries during the time periods covered by our study: 2000-2013 for the UK and 2000-2008 for Germany. We also present a variety of additional data on the characteristics of European PAE suits and PAE-asserted patents and, finally, consider what our findings suggest are the most important reasons PAEs tend to avoid European courts. We conclude that, while many factors likely contribute to the relative scarcity of PAEs in Europe, the continent’s fee-shifting regimes stand out as a key deterrent to patent monetization.
        • Also published at SSRN

        Monographies

        Gaessler, Fabian (2016). Enforcing and Trading Patents – Evidence for Europe (Innovation und Entrepreneurship). Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler. DOI

          Discussion Papers

          Gaessler, Fabian; Hall, Bronwyn H.; Harhoff, Dietmar (2018). Should There Be Lower Taxes on Patent Income?, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper, No. 18-18.

          • A “patent box” is a term for the application of a lower corporate tax rate to the income derived from the ownership of patents. This tax subsidy instrument has been introduced in a number of countries since 2000. Using comprehensive data on patent filings at the European Patent Office, including information on ownership transfers pre‐ and post‐grant, we investigate the impact of the introduction of a patent box on international patent transfers, on the choice of ownership location, and on invention in the relevant country. We find that the impact on transfers is small but present, especially when the tax instrument contains a development condition and for high value patents (those most likely to have generated income), but that invention itself is not affected. This calls into question whether the patent box is an effective instrument for encouraging innovation in a country, rather than simply facilitating the shifting of corporate income to low tax jurisdictions.
          • Available at SSRN
          • Also published as: NBER Working Paper No. w24843

          Gaessler, Fabian; Pu, Zhaoxin (2017). Openness as Platform Strategy - Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Crowdfunding, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper, No. 18-05. DOI

          • A platform's decision to open up its marketplace is at the core of its business strategy. It needs to balance between the benefits of market thickness and the costs of potential congestion and quality concerns. We discuss how openness can increase platform value and test our hypotheses by analyzing the strategic decision of a leading crowdfunding platform to switch from access control to de facto openness. The decision increased market thickness on the previously access-controlled supply side of crowdfunding projects. The platform hereby gained market share from its main competitor. Market matches on the platform increased in absolute but not in relative terms. Moreover, quality on the supply side declined immediately, lowering platform value for demand-side users.
          • Available at SSRN

          Gaessler, Fabian; Lefouili, Yassine (2017). What to Buy When Forum Shopping? Analyzing Court Selection in Patent Litigation, TSE Working Paper, No. 17-775. DOI

          • This paper examines court selection by plaintiffs in patent litigation. We build a forum shopping model that provides a set of predictions regarding plaintiffs’ court preferences, and the way these preferences depend on the market proximity between the plaintiff and the defendant. Then, using a rich dataset of patent litigation at German regional courts between 2003 and 2008, we estimate the determinants of court selection with alternative-specific conditional logit models. In line with our theoretical predictions, our empirical results show that plaintiffs prefer courts that have shorter proceedings, especially when they compete against the defendants they face. Further, we find negative effects of the plaintiff’s, as well as the defendant’s, distance to court on the plaintiff’s court selection. Our empirical analysis also allows us to infer whether plaintiffs perceive a given court as more or less pro-patentee than another one.

          Presentations and Lectures

          23.11.2017

          Patents, Data Exclusivity, and the Development of New Drugs

          MSI Seminar, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

          Location: Leuven


          05.09.2017

          Patents and Cumulative Innovation - Evidence from Post-Grant Patent Oppositions

          European Policy for Intellectual Property Annual Conference

          Location: Bordeaux


          02.09.2017

          Patents and Cumulative Innovation - Evidence from Post-Grant Patent Oppositions

          Conference of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics, Maastricht University

          Location: Maastricht


          07.08.2017

          Patents and Cumulative Innovation - Evidence from Post-Grant Patent Oppositions

          Academy of Management Annual Meeting

          Location: Atlanta


          24.07.2017

          Patent Boxes and Patent Transfers

          Summer School on Taxation and R&D, University of Mannheim

          Location: Mannheim


          20.06.2017

          Patents, Data Exclusivity, and the Development of New Drugs

          Behavioral and Empirical Work in Progress Seminar, Technical University of Munich

          Location: München


          13.06.2017

          Taking the Crowd by the Hand - The Intermediary Role of Crowdfunding Platforms

          DRUID 17 Conference, New York University

          Location: New York


          30.05.2017

          Patents and Cumulative Innovation - Evidence from Post-Grant Patent Oppositions

          Munich Summer Institute 2017

          Location: München


          26.05.2017

          Patents and Cumulative Innovation - Evidence from Post-Granted Patent Oppositions

          Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Faculty Workshop, IE Business School

          Location: Madrid


          15.05.2017

          Taking the Crowd by the Hand - The Intermediary Role of Crowdfunding Platforms

          ZEW Economics of Innovation and Patenting Conference 2017

          Location: Mannheim


          03.04.2017

          Patents and Cumulative Innovation - Evidence from Post-Granted Patent Oppositions

          SFB Competiton and Rationality Workshop

          Location: Berlin


          16.03.2017

          Patent Litigation in Europe

          European Intellectual Property Rights and Jurisdiction in Need of Grand Design? MPI Workshop

          Location: Harnackhaus Berlin


          29.11.2016

          Patents and Cumulative Innovation - Evidence from Post-Granted Patent Oppositions

          IO and Trade Seminar

          Location: LMU Munich


          03.09.2016

          Litigation of Standard-Essential Patents in Europe - A Comparative Analysis

          European Policy for Intellectual Property Annual Conference

          Location: University of Oxford, UK


          02.09.2016

          Patent Transfers in Europe - Data and Methodological Report

          European Policy for Intellectual Property Annual Conference

          Location: University of Oxford, UK


          18.05.2016

          What to Buy When Forum Shopping? Determinants of Court Selection in Patent Litigation

          17th CEPR/JIE School and Conference on Applied Industrial Organisation

          Location: London, UK


          01.09.2016

          What to Buy When Forum Shopping? Determinants of Court Selection in Patent Litigation

          European Policy for Intellectual Property 10th Annual Conference

          Location: Glasgow, UK


          28.08.2015

          What to Buy When Forum Shopping? Determinants of Court Selection in Patent Litigation

          42nd Annual Conference of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics

          Location: Munich


          02.07.2015

          Forum Shopping in Patent Litigation at German Regional Courts

          6th ZEW/MaCCI Conference on the Economics of Innovation and Patenting

          Location: Mannheim


          29.06.2015

          What to Buy When Forum Shopping? Determinants of Court Selection in Patent Litigation

          Economic Analysis of Litigation Workshop

          Location: Turin, Italy


          27.06.2015

          Panel Discussion: On the Future of the Internet Economy - Why Do Companies Need Patents?

          Alumni Conference at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

          Location: Munich


          11.06.2015

          Forum Shopping in Patent Litigation at German Regional Courts

          Workshop: 2nd International Meeting in Law & Economics at the University Paris 2-Panthéon-Assas

          Location: Paris, France


          29.08.2014

          Invalid but Infringed? An Analysis of Germany's Bifurcated Patent Litigation System

          41st Annual Conference of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics

          Location: Milan, Italy


          23.06.2014

          Invalid but Infringed? An Analysis of Germany's Bifurcated Patent Litigation System

          Munich Conference on Innovation and Competition 2014

          Location: Castle Ringberg


          13.01.2014

          Forum Shopping in Patent Litigation in Germany

          Transatlantic Workshop on Intellectual Property Research

          Location: Zurich, Switzerland


          09.08.2013

          Invalid but Infringed? An Analysis of Germany's Bifurcated Patent Litigation System

          Comparative Patent Litigation in Europe and Evidence on Bifurcation, Workshop at Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys

          Location: London, UK

          Academic Prizes and Honours

          2017 Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society

          Projects