Patent litigation in the United States has increased dramatically in the last 20 years. Understanding this increase, and the concomitant increase in patent grants, can help us to better understand the sources of technological innovation and productivity. The approach described here provides a means to simultaneously examine both the “friendly court” hypothesis and the hypothesis of an increase in research productivity associated with the information age. The results support the notion that both hypothesized factors, changes in court outcomes and increased research productivity and the associated increase in patenting activity, have played a role in the growth of patent litigation.

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