Graduation Year

Fall 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Eric Helland

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2013 Christina E. Brandt

Abstract

This paper looks at the relationship between software patent hoarding and firm litigation involvement. Software patents are relatively new, as the first software patent was granted in 1995. Since that first patent was granted, firms throughout the industry have engaged in a patent ‘arms race’ of sorts. Using data from Lex Machina IP litigation database and the USPTO, this study examines whether patent stock size impacts the incentives for firms to litigate by assessing the total number of law suits software firms are involved in and their litigation involvement broken down by party role. The results indicate that a larger patent portfolio will marginally increase the number of suits a firm files as a plaintiff. The results are inconclusive on the potential deterrence effect a firm can create by hoarding patents to discourage competitor firms from suing them.

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