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How to handle a patent infringement lawsuit

A patent infringement lawsuit can be rather daunting, especially when it’s the first time. Most of the time, it is unclear why the next party has accused you of using intellectual property (IP) without permission. Most companies are, therefore, left in the dark.

Although patent infringement lawsuits can drain your company’s revenue and finances, do not panic. For starters, there has been a 25% decline in these lawsuits since 2015. Today, we take a comprehensive look at the best approaches when handling a legal action.

Prepare for litigation

Litigation can be rather expensive, especially when you don’t have a set budget. Ensure the management is ready for all possible legal expenses and outcomes. It doesn’t matter if the lawsuit is going to court or not- preparation is key. Typical costs for litigation range between $600,000 to $2,000,000.

Know what you are up against

Start gathering every bit of information about the accuser’s litigation history. Doing this will help you prepare better for your litigation. You will also get a better understanding of what you are up against. Knowing your accuser is the first step towards winning the patent infringement lawsuit. It will also help if you carefully scrutinize the case outcomes and defenses used.

Gather all relevant information

Most companies make the mistake of formalizing arguments before analyzing relevant information. Look at claim charts to know everything about the patent. Without looking at everything on the table, you might miss a differential feature that could drastically reduce the litigation costs. Ensure you go through every detail in the case before making any arguments.

Consult with technical experts

Without help from technical experts, the patent infringing lawsuit could drag on for years. Input from several engineers could help invalidate the claims. Most of the time, accusers misunderstand their products. Some patent infringement claims are baseless, thus making it clear that you should never cave early.

Consider settlement as a last resort

Did you know that the patent litigation rate in the decade 2007 to 2016 was only 1.9%? Because these cases are costly and long-lasting, most parties prefer discussing a settlement. Consult with your legal team to determine the ideal settlement amount. However, understand that this should only be done when the court rules on the interpretation of the patent claims.

Have an attorney present

Having an experienced corporate litigation attorney always comes in handy when dealing with a patent infringement claim. These claims can be rather technical in nature, especially when it is your first time. An attorney can help simplify the entire process, thus ensuring the issue is resolved quickly.