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Patent Infringement
New Inventions Success

Patent Infringement

When someone violates the rights of someone else's patent, we call it patent infringement. A violated patent places the violator ln a dangerous position, because if they are caught and brought to justice, they could face some of the largest damages available in a court room. So, what do you do if you think that your patent is being infringed?

Garbage Compactor - Patent Drawing

1. Gather Evidence Of Patent Infringement

Some people think that the first step in dealing with patent infringement is to go talk with the infringer and threaten to sue if they don't stop. These people are wrong! The first step is to gather evidence. As discretely as possible, get all the material you can on the infringer and their product. The more you know about what they are doing, the better. Order the infringing product (but don't have it shipped to your address for heaven's sakes!), talk with their sales people, get marketing information, brochures, and take snapshots of their website. The more you can gather without them knowing you are putting a file together the better. This helps you build a strong case against them. Remember, MOST lawsuits never make it to trial, so a strong case in the beginning is a case that can settle for more money. The work you do here in preparing to deal with patent infringement can pay off in spades.

2. Get Your Team Together And Plan

Once you have your infringement evidence data gathered, get your legal and business team together and plan how you will move forward. You want to be aggressive and strong without triggering advantages for your opponent. You also want to get the most advantage in the beginning for the least expense. When beginning patent litigation, don't be afraid to spend a little extra in the beginning. If your opponent gets the idea that you are pinching pennies, they might draw things out hoping you will run out of money or lose interest. Part of this step might be getting a infringement of patent opinion from your attorneys. If you sue somebody or threaten to sue them on patent infringement without a solid basis, you could be responsible for their attorney's fees!

3. Give Notice To The Infringer!

Once you have spied on your opponent long enough and put together a solid plan and everyone agrees that there is an infringment of your patent, the first implementation of that plan is to give them notice. Now, they should ALREADY have notice of the patent in the form of your patent number splattered all over your product and marketing material. However, now you need to give them specific notice that THEY are infringing. You can send a letter letting them know, or you can serve them court papers. Both work just fine. Be careful with the notice letter, if you threaten to sue, they might be able to file court papers on you! Make dang sure your attorney team is involved in this step - you could screw it all up by yourself.

4. Apply Pressure

You want a settlement, ideally that includes royalties. To get that, you need to apply pressure to the patent infringer. Assert your rights, require that they step up and provide information, argue that you deserve to win. The more clear it is that you are going to win anyways, the more likely that they will settle for a reasonable amount. Don't fall apart now - this is where you win or lose!


If you own a patent and you suspect patent infringement, gather information first. Even then, don't go running to the infringer with accusations. Plan out your attack and make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you start. Once you start, you can't really stop without losing something. Starting is simple, you tell them (the right way) that they are infringing. Once you tell them, apply pressure until you get a settlement. This could be a royalty agreement, a fat payment, ownership in their company, a co-development agreement, and/or any other way to profit from their business because of their patent infringement.

Patent Litigation is the ultimate defense against intellectual property violations.
A Patent Lawsuit is the final remedy for patent infringement.

© 2008-2012 iFish - New Inventions Success

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Mike Starkweather

Mike Starkweather
Patent Attorney

Mike was a patent examiner at the United States Patent Office. While there he examined over 300 patent applications. This experience has helped him to understand all the subtleties of getting a patent. You want that experience on your side.

Mike is extraordinarily creative in finding patentable features. Sometimes it requires thinking outside of the box to find the patentable features of an invention. He has an expertise at finding ways to get patents on new inventions that other patent professionals would not consider.

For a free consultation with Mike about your invention fill out and submit the form below

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