Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is your fee structure? — Unlike law firms, we do not charge our clients on an hourly fee basis. In patent enforcement matters, we represent clients strictly on a contingency fee basis. The fee structure is based on several factors, most notably, size and complexity of the case. Read more...
2. What procedure do you use in determining whether to take a case? — Initially, we examine the basis of the claim of infringement, review the patent and the file wrapper for any significant problems, and evaluate recoverable damages. Based on the result of this analysis, we make a preliminary decision as to whether patent enforcement is warranted.
3. What is this evaluation process going to cost me? — Nothing. All costs for analysis and evaluation are borne by us.
4. How long will it take for you to complete your analysis of my patent? — This depends in part on the amount and the quality of information we receive from the inventor or the patent owner. The preliminary evaluation (see FAQ #2) usually takes a few weeks. Upon successful completion of this evaluation, we may issue a letter of intent to the patentee or the patent owner.
5. What types of information do you need to see to conduct your analysis? —
a. US Patent Nos.;
b. File wrapper (prosecution file history), if available - if not available, we will order it;
c. Description of the allegedly infringing device or process/method, which may include pictures, schematics, drawings, diagrams, technical spec sheets or an actual sample, if available;
d. Copies of any correspondence between the inventor or patent owner and the suspected infringers; and
e. Copies of license agreements, if any.
6. Does GPC have patent attorneys on staff? — Yes, we have experienced patent attorneys on staff. We also have relations with several outside attorneys who we can bring into a case as the need may arise.
7. Is GPC a law firm? — No, we are not a law firm. Although we have in-house patent attorneys who do case analyses, manage and assist trial counsel, and conduct licensing and settlement negotiations, we always employ an outside law firm when it comes to litigation.
8. How do you choose law firms to represent a client? —We select firms based on their reputation, availability, and expertise in a particular area of technology, their location and conflicts of interest considerations, as well as our own experience working with them.
9. What if there is no infringement, will you still try to license my patent? — In cases with no infringement, we do licensing only on an hourly-fee basis.
10. How do I find out about sales of infringing products? — If you have any information about sales of the infringing product, send it to us. If you have none or if we need more, we will obtain it.
11. Does GPC prepare patent applications? — We do not file or prosecute patent applications for the public. However, if you become our client, as part of our service, we may file and prosecute further patent applications including broadening reissues, continuations, continuations-in-part (CIP), and reexaminations, if appropriate.
12. Does GPC find buyers for patents? — Our affiliate company, IP Holdings LLC, offers patent brokerage services.
13. What if only a foreign company is infringing? —If the foreign company makes and sells abroad a product covered by a US patent, there is no infringement. However, if a foreign company imports its infringing products into the U.S., we can pursue them here for patent infringement. Read more...
14. What if my patent has already expired? — You may still be able to collect some past damages if your patent expired less than six years ago. Read more...
15. What if my patent has not yet been allowed? — A patent has effect only after it is issued by the Patent Office. Read more...
16. What if only part of a claim is infringed and not the rest? — Unless the whole claim is infringed, there is no infringement. Read more...
17. What if an inventor is already in litigation – can GPC assist or take over the litigation? — Usually, we prefer to handle a case right from the beginning. However, in some circumstances, we will consider stepping in and taking over an existing litigation.
18. How do you know if your patent is infringed? — You need to make sure that every limitation of at least one claim is found in the accused product or process. Read more...
19. If I believe my patent is infringed, should I hurry to enforce it or should I sit and wait for damages to accumulate? — You should not sit and wait for damages to accumulate. If you sit on your rights, eventually you may lose them. Read more...
20. Can I legally practice my own patent? —A patent is the right to exclude others. Even if you have a patent, your right to practice your invention may be affected by patents owned by others. Talk to a patent attorney who can do a “freedom to operate” analysis for you.
21. Can another patent infringe my patent? — Patents do not infringe other patents. Only products or processes can infringe a patent.
22. Should I write to suspected infringers or wait until I have representation? — Writing to a suspected infringer may have adverse consequences. Don’t do anything without the advice of a patent attorney experienced in patent infringement litigation. Read more...
23. What makes GPC better than a law firm? — We do not compete with law firms. We will hire an excellent law firm to litigate your patent. What we bring to the table, in addition to a law firm, is: over twenty years of patent enforcement experience, virtually unlimited capital to finance the enforcement of your patent and unbeatable track record.
24. How long will it be before I get some money? — Typically, it will take 18 to 24 months before a new patent infringement suit can be resolved – longer if the case is very large. Resolution may take as long as three to five years if the case goes to trial.
25. What is your track record, i.e. how often do you win and how often do you lose? — We measure success by recovering money for our clients. On that basis, we have been very successful.