Working paper

What to Buy When Forum Shopping? Analyzing Court Selection in Patent Litigation

Fabian Gaessler, and Yassine Lefouili


This paper examines court selection by plaintiffs in patent litigation. We build a forum shopping model that provides a set of predictions regarding plaintiffs' court preferences, and the way these preferences depend on the market proximity between the plaintiff and the defendant. Then, using a rich dataset of patent litigation at German regional courts between 2003 and 2008, we estimate the determinants of court selection with alternative-specific conditional logit models. In line with our theoretical predictions, our empirical results show that plaintiffs prefer courts that have shorter proceedings, especially when they compete against the defendants they face. Further, we find negative effects of the plaintiff's, as well as the defendant's, distance to court on the plaintiff's court selection. Our empirical analysis also allows us to infer whether plaintiffs perceive a given court as more or less pro-patentee than another one.


Litigation; patents; forum shopping; Germany;

JEL codes

  • K41: Litigation Process
  • L38: Public Policy
  • O34: Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital


Fabian Gaessler, and Yassine Lefouili, What to Buy When Forum Shopping? Analyzing Court Selection in Patent Litigation, TSE Working Paper, n. 17-775, March 2017.

See also

Published in

TSE Working Paper, n. 17-775, March 2017