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Patent Litigation & Patent Infringement

Although we believe a courtroom is the last place parties should work out their differences, our patent attorneys will vigorously defend or enforce our clients' patents, trademarks, products and services.

Patent infringement occurs when someone practices a patented invention without the approval of the patent holder. Patent infringement lawsuits are litigated in U.S. Federal Courts and are appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (in Washington, D.C.).

Patent infringement lawsuits are typically divided into two or more stages. First, the court interprets the scope of the patent and second the court determines whether the accused device or method is within the scope of the patent. Many lawsuits are essentially won or lost at the first stage.

Markman- The first appearance is called a Markman hearing. In Markman hearings, the attorneys argue the meaning of the patent by presenting charts,legal briefs and advocating a particular position.

Trial - The second stage is the actual trial. After being presented with witnesses, a jury decides whether the accused device or method is within the scope of the patent. Arguments regarding the validity of the patent may also be provided.

Alternatives to Litigation

Litigation can be quite costly. Our firm understands the need to reduce litigation costs and offers alternatives when available. However, if all else fails we will vigorously advocate our client's position in a patent infringement or trademark infringement lawsuit.

Patent Reexamination

One solution to avoid unwanted patent litigation costs is to Request a Reexamination of an Issued Patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A Reexamination may be declared upon a demonstration that there is a "substantial question of patentability."

An Ex Parte Reexamination is a reexamination proceeding solely between the USPTO and the Patent Holder. The third party requestor does not actively participate in the proceedings but is provided with copies of all correspondence provided to the USPTO or to the Patent Holder.

An Inter Partes Reexamination allows the third party requester to provide a reply to arguments made by the Patent Holder. However, rules of issue preclusion may arise if the patent is subject to later litigation.

Licensing

Another frequent alternative to Litigation includes Licensing the Patent or Trademark. Licenses can be quite maleable and can address a variety of scopes or territories.