Conducting business over conventional marketing channels of the world economy can put any company at risk of patent infringement. Tech companies are highly susceptible to patent disputes while running their business.
Allegations of patent infringement may be daunting as they can lead to massive loss of revenues and finances for your company. If this happens, do not panic; follow these steps as explained below.
Understand the accuser
Identifying the party raising the patent infringement accusations determines the next course of action. Running a quick background check is essential as it helps you understand the accuser’s motive, among other crucial aspects. For instance, a direct competitor of your business may raise patent infringement accusations as a mechanism to try to put you out of business. Similarly, such charges may be a strategy to paint a bad public image or extort money from your company.
Assess costs and prepare for a lawsuit
Patent litigation lawsuits are complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Management should have a set budget to cover the overall process of litigation. It is safe to be prepared for all possible legal fees and expenses. Quick settlement and upfront payment may protect your company from severe damage if the case takes a turn and immediate action is needed. Having a lump-sum set aside can be useful if you feel that your company is vulnerable to patent infringement cases in the future.
Coordinate with a technical expert
If accused of patent infringement, your company should coordinate and consult with experts who can help review the patent’s specifications. Management should work hand in hand with analyzers and investigators to try to determine if using a particular invention risks infringement of a patent. Management can also work with the product manager and the sales and marketing teams to follow up on the distribution of the accused products or services to help determine exposure.
All in all, it is best for your business to keep its head above the sand when it comes to copyright law. Obtain a license for your business or seek permission first if you intend to use another party’s patent. Do an online patent search and review your competitors’ products to avoid potential patent infringement.