Someone May Infringe on Your Invention Ideas
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How do I defend against patent infringement of my invention ideas?
A new invention idea is only as good as the patent that protects it. If you obtain a patent, you are responsible to make sure no one is infringing upon it. Unfortunately, no one will do that for you although a good patent attorney can assist you with this. So, if you discover someone has committed patent infringement against your invention ideas, what do you do?
- First send an assertion letter. This outlines the allegation of patent infringement. It's likely you'll need an attorney who specializes in patents to help draft this letter so it can be as precise as possible. It's also likely that the potential infringer will send an opinion letter back to you from his or her attorney as a reply to your assertion that a patent infringement has occurred. This letter will give you good clues as to how to proceed with a defense.
- Depending on your attorney's advice you may want to go ahead and file a lawsuit even if your not sure what the other party is going to do. This may give you an upper hand.
- If the other party agrees that a patent infringement has occurred (sometimes it is an honest mistake), you can choose to enter a license agreement with that party that includes a sum to compensate for the infringement.
- Conduct a thorough search of printed publications that describe the invention. This can include science abstracts, company catalogs and material printed online. Additionally, watch for anything that shows the invention was sold or in public use more than one year before the patent was granted. These items will help in your defense.
- If no agreement can be reached out of court, make sure your defense team is ready for litigation. Carefully review their bios to ensure they have experience and success fighting patent infringement in your specific field of study.