Dedicated Lawyers With High Performance in Business Litigation

How can companies resolve patent infringement issues?

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2024 | Patent Protection

Developing a new product or manufacturing process can give a company a profound competitive edge. Some organizations commit resources to research and development in order to gain an advantage over competitors. Other times, companies may purchase a concept from an inventor or researcher.

Protecting concepts via a patent is a lengthy and costly process. It takes months to prosecute a patent successfully. Companies generally invest quite a bit of money in the initial prosecution of a patent and must also pay maintenance fees routinely throughout the duration of the patent. In theory, obtaining a patent means that an organization has control over a concept. In practice, other parties might very well infringe on a patent by using an idea without authorization.

How should businesses (generally) respond to patent infringement cases?

Verifying and documenting the infringement

Keeping an eye on competitors is a key component to successful intellectual property protection. A patent does very little to help a company if competitors can misuse a business’s patented concepts without any pushback. Businesses often carefully monitor the products released by competitors to spot early warning signs of potential patent infringement. They can then document what they uncover to support their allegations as the enforcement process moves forward.

Sending formal written notice

A business can sometimes resolve a patent infringement matter relatively quickly. Some organizations immediately cease the misuse of patented ideas or the creation of infringing products after receiving a warning. Others might attempt to negotiate licensing arrangements to lawfully utilize the intellectual property of another company. If a warning and direct communications do not lead to a cessation of infringement or if the infringement has had an economic impact on a business, then legal action might be necessary.

Filing a patent enforcement lawsuit

It is possible to take legal action against a business or individual infringing on a patent. The courts could potentially issue an injunction ordering the other party to cease the activity that constitutes patent infringement. The courts might also order the infringing party to pay damages to the patent holder. Litigation can be a lengthy process, and the business accused of infringement might very well seek to amicably resolve the dispute outside of court rather than taking the matter to trial.

Businesses that take the right steps after uncovering patent infringement can more effectively protect their intellectual property and hold others accountable for infringing activity. Actively enforcing intellectual property rights can be crucial for the financial solvency of businesses that have invested in the rights to a concept or research and development.