Broad Cross-License Negotiations

Alberto Galasso
University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management; University of Toronto – Strategic Management

June 19, 2012

Rotman School of Management Working Paper No. 1982086


In many industries, broad cross-license agreements are considered a useful method to obtain freedom to operate and to avoid patent litigation. In this paper I study firm incentives to sign a broad cross-license as well as the duration of broad cross-license negotiations. I develop a model of bargaining with learning, which predicts that two firms will enter a broad cross-license agreement only if their capital intensities are large enough. The model also predicts faster negotiations when firms have high capital intensities and when the frequency of future disputes is low. I confirm these predictions empirically using a novel dataset on cross-licensing and litigation in the U.S. semiconductor industry.

Broad Cross-License Negotiations

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