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In this note we investigate the infringement (entry) decision for a firm facing an incumbent patent holder with uncertain patent rights. The entrant risks a dispute by entering, resulting in either a settlement (licensing) or litigation and trial. Using the litigation model described by Priest and Klein, we investigate the expected dispute resolution and its impacts on the entrant’s pre-dispute behavior. The primary contribution is to show that the entrant’s expectations about the patent holder’s beliefs about patent enforceability are a driving factor behind the entry decision. We develop a simple taxonomy of entrant and incumbent types to explain the entry decision.
Marco, Alan C. and Walsh, Kieran J., "Credibility and credulity: how beliefs about beliefs affect entry incentives" (2006). Faculty Research and Reports. 68.