Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

Patent Litigation in Europe

While the much-anticipated introduction of a uniform system to enforce European patents is within reach, a granted patent application at the European Patent Office still dissolves into a bundle of national patent rights. Once granted, the enforcement of the patent is subject to the national rules and practices of the respective jurisdictions. This project generates data on patent enforcement across four European jurisdictions: Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the UK. In collaboration with researchers from multiple institutions, we assemble a new dataset that contains detailed information for patent cases filed at the respective national courts between 2000 and 2008. Using this unique dataset, we draw a direct comparison between patent litigation in four jurisdictions. We find substantial differ ences in terms of caseloads, outcomes and the share of appealed cases. Further, the majority of patents remain subject to litigation in one jurisdiction only. Focusing on the peculiarities of patent enforcement in Germany, we employ the data to analyze the functioning of a bifurcated system, where infringement and validity of a patent are decided independently by different courts. In a further study, we identify the determinants of court selection by patent holders who seek remedies against alleged infringers before German regional courts.

This project is part of the dissertation "Enforcing and Trading Patents - Evidence for Europe."


Doctoral Student

Dr. Fabian Gaessler

Doctoral Supervisor

Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D.

Fields of Research