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1. PAEs ESSENTIALLY FILE AND ACQUIRE HIGH-TECH PATENTS

In Europe PAEs essentially file and acquire high-tech patents (Computer and auto- mated business equipment; Micro-organism and genetic engineering; Aviation; Communications technology; Semiconductors; Lasers). However, if historically PAEs have been active mainly only in the high-tech sector, in the second half of the 2000s PAEs started a process of business differentiation and entered new markets.

2. PAEs ACQUIRE PATENTS OF HIGH QUALITY BUT THEY ALSO IMPLY A SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN THE CITATION RATE OF THE PATENTS THEY BUY

Original evidence based on the patenting activity at the EPO (European Patent Office) in the ICT sector shows that PAEs acquire patents of high technological quality. However, after a transfer occurs, patents transferred to PAEs receive significantly fewer citations. This suggests that producing companies whose business makes their technologies close to the ones acquired by PAEs may perceive an augmented risk of being sued.