Understanding Patent Litigation
If you’ve been accused of ‘stealing’ a patented invention, you may face a myriad of legal obstacles that could result in the loss of time and money for your business due to fighting the charges brought against you.
Patents allow businesses and individuals to legally protect their property from use by another business/individual in its entirety or in conjunction with other products. The use of a patented invention without permission from the patent holder is called patent infringement.
The Patent Litigation Process
Unfortunately, the patent litigation process is a long one. First, those holding the patent need to prove patent infringement had taken place. This means more than just accusing a business/individual of ‘stealing’ an invention. Also, if the defendant has ample financial resources and time to defend themselves, patent litigation cases may be dragged out for years.
After the patent holder files a complaint, the defendant must provide a response. Then both sides begin preparing for trial. Both must provide evidence supporting their claims.
Possible outcomes of these types of lawsuits generally include:
- Temporary or permanent injunction – this prevents the defendant from continuing to use a patented invention for a specific amount of time or indefinitely.
- Monetary Award – issued to the patent holder as a way to cover the loss of potential earnings related to patent infringement, tarnished reputation, time and money spent on legal fees and other costs, etc.
- Settlement – each side comes to an agreement as to how to end the lawsuit (defendant pays monetary award, agrees to stop using invention, injunction, or patent holder agrees to licensing terms, etc.)
In some cases, both parties may agree to mediation instead of a trial. Mediation usually costs much less than litigation and helps both sides come to terms that are fair and reasonable in less time.
Having an experienced litigation attorney on your side can make the difference. If you find yourself involved in a patent litigation consider contacting Lexero for assistance in obtaining the best possible result in your patent matter.