What are your patent rights?
As stated in 35 US Code 154(a)(1), every patent contains “a grant to the patentee ... of the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States...”
But read these words carefully. A patent is not, as many people believe, the right of an inventor to use his or her invention; it is the right of an inventor to prevent others from using that invention — and the right to pursue legal recourse if this occurs.
Patent enforcement: A complex undertaking
This is what makes patent protection so complicated. Patent holders have the burden of proving infringement. And litigation costs can be high. A patent infringer with deep pockets, such as a large corporation, has an advantage over an individual inventor or small business.
Taking action against patent infringers
That’s why professional assistance is so important if you want to enforce your patent. Many inventors will go straight to a law firm, and that makes sense: Any attorney can help you assign, license or otherwise dispose of a patent after it has been issued, and any litigator can help you sue infringers. But when it comes to patent enforcement, don’t you want someone who has more than just a technical background? Who understands the value of your invention? Who will put the same time and effort into understanding both the legal merits and the economics of your case as you initially put into the development of your product or service?
GPC: Your partner in patent enforcement
That’s where GPC can help. Because we’re more than just a group of lawyers, because we’ve both worked in research and development and have business acumen, we can understand your case like no one else can. And we take the time to do that.
For example, if you’d like us to review your patent enforcement project, you’ll need to submit to us certain information, including your patent number(s) and any infringers of which you are aware. Our team of experts will review these materials in depth, and if we determine that your patent has indeed been infringed upon and the enforcement of it would be an appropriate undertaking for us, we’ll custom-design a comprehensive patent enforcement strategy for your situation. Sometimes that means negotiating a licensing agreement. If negotiations fail, mediation and arbitration are possible. Otherwise, a lawsuit must be brought.
If patent infringement is proven, at minimum a reasonable royalty will be awarded. Other remedies may include injunction and recovery of up to treble damages (if it’s determined that the infringer acted in wanton disregard of the patent owner's rights). And in exceptional cases, attorney fees may also be awarded to the plaintiff.