In June 2012, James Bessen and Michael Meurer published their frequently-cited paper “The Direct Costs from NPE Disputes”, with its headline grabbing claim that US companies “accrued $29 billion of direct costs in 2011” as a result of NPE assertions. As they explained in the paper, they based their estimates on responses to a survey sent out to 250 companies by RPX and also the study of a database made available by RPX. What is puzzling, then, is why RPX itself provides a much lower estimate of NPE-related costs than Bessen and Meurer did three years ago.

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