What to Buy when Forum Shopping – Determinants of Court Selection in Patent Litigation

Author: Fabian Gaessler (Max-Planck-Institut for Innovation and Competition)

This study examines forum shopping by plaintiffs in patent litigation at German regional courts between 2003 and 2008. We derive predictions on the plaintiffs’ court preferences from an expanded asymmetric information model of litigation. We use alternative-specific conditional logit models to estimate the plaintiffs’ court selection. Our results show that plaintiffs consider potential opportunity costs due to delayed judgment in their court selection. This is in particular true if plaintiff and defendant are active in the same product market. Further, the spatial distance between plaintiff and court has a negative effect on court selection. In particular small plaintiffs value local access to court. These findings may contribute to the current debate on the design of the Unified Patent Court in Europe.

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