Organizations often invest substantially in the research and development necessary to have grounds for a patent. Even if they purchase the rights to an idea or process from an engineer or inventor, the organization will inevitably have committed financial resources to its ability to control a concept, formula, product or process.
After the successful prosecution of a patent, individuals and organizations should be able to protect their right to have control over the use of a patented concept. Unfortunately, infringement is a common issue in the world of patents and other intellectual property.
For example, a competitor may try to reverse-engineer a patented product and then release a very similar item, and in doing so, they will typically impact the market share and profits of the company that holds the patent. How do organizations resolve patent infringement issues that will cost them money?
They could seek damages
Patent infringement litigation is a common response to discovering a major intellectual property violation by another company, especially if the organization infringing on the patents does not admit wrongdoing or refuses to stop. It may be necessary to go to court to have a judge prevent one business from continuing to infringe on the patent of another. A judge could also potentially award the patent holder damages based on the scope and impact of the infringement that occurred.
They could negotiate licensing arrangements
Sometimes, patent violations end up being beneficial for both of the organizations involved. The party that holds the patent can negotiate a licensing agreement that will compensate the company for the use of its intellectual property. The business infringing on the patent will benefit by gaining lawful access to the patented idea, process or product.
Typically, enforcement efforts require that an organization proactively monitor its competition to spot warning signs of patent infringement and other intellectual property violations. Providing proper written notice to the infringing party will also be important. The sooner company can identify and address serious patent infringement issues, the less likely the company will be to suffer lasting financial losses related to that infringement.
Timely action in response to patent infringement executed with the assistance of an experienced legal professional can help to protect an organization’s intellectual property and its market share.