Patents protect intellectual property, but they are most effective when the owner is prepared to defend them through litigation. This may involve jury trials, bench trials, or even a subsequent appeal to the Circuit Court.
The results of these tests will vary from case to case, but typical results include:
- Offense: The plaintiff successfully asserts that the infringing product falls under one or more of the patent protections. The infringer will pay royalties to the plaintiff, including damages, court costs, filing fees and court costs. There will likely also be a post-trial injunction that protects the patent now and in the future.
- False patent marking: This is a competitive harm requirement for plaintiffs who believe the false marking caused damage and impaired their ability to do business. This was designed to combat patent tagging trolls.
- Declaratory judgment: Any judgment in a general legal case is declaratory, but it can be done before the case goes to trial. It determines each party’s patent rights before proceeding to trial. It may allow the alleged infringer to take legal action to resolve the dispute, or it may establish that damages are pending.
- Inventory fix: This happens when someone wants their name added (or someone else’s name removed) to the list of patented inventors.
- Patent Term Adjustment: This allows the holder to extend the patent in specific circumstances. Often this is due to a delay in the processing of the patent.
- Modification of the patent: This involves amending an application that the USPTO has rejected, with the understanding that the applicant would later make the changes necessary to obtain the patent.
- Disability: The alleged infringer can file a counterclaim against the plaintiff, alleging that the patent is invalid.
- SPC Granted: A supplementary protection certificate extends the duration of the specific rights of a patent. It is specific to Europe and commonly used for drugs and herbicides.
- License Disclosure: This is another counter case filed by the defendant that compels the plaintiff to reveal license agreements related to a patent, including royalty rates. It is intended as a deterrent against patent trolls, as it exposes licensees with no intention of bringing a patent to market. However, the licensee may also win and would likely receive damages without disclosing the information.
Legal advice is often valuable
No one should litigate anything without the help of an attorney, but intellectual property matters involve complicated rules and regulations. Not only do patent litigators understand what is at stake, but they also have the practical know-how of an experienced litigator.