Many companies believe that once they obtain a patent for an invention, formula, or improvements on an existing design, their ownership of that patent is automatically protected. However, the mere existence of laws does not prevent people from violating them, and the same goes for the potential violation of your patent rights.
In many situations, it requires legal action to enforce patent protection and stop infringement. If an infringement has already resulted in losses to your business, you can take steps to seek damages. You should consult with a Birmingham patent litigation attorney right away if you believe your patent rights are being infringed.
First Steps of Enforcing a Patent
The first step of patent enforcement is generally not to rush into court. Instead, you want to have an experienced patent lawyer to review the situation and determine the most effective and efficient course of action. Often, the first move is to send a cease and desist letter to the infringing party.
This letter informs the party of your patent protection and demands that they stop using your patent immediately. It also provides notice of the patent infringement, which is required if you might need to seek damages down the road. Often, this letter is enough to stop the infringement, as it might be the first time the infringer knew of the existing patent.
On the other hand, if you receive a cease and desist letter, you should review the matter with a patent litigation lawyer. These letters are not always based on valid information, and there is a chance that you are not infringing on an existing patent at all. Our patent attorney can advise you on how to best proceed.
Taking the Matter to Court
If the infringing party refuses to stop their conduct or challenges your allegations of infringement, your lawyer can file a complaint to initiate patent litigation. Such litigation can seek:
- A court-ordered injunction demanding that the infringement stop immediately
- Damages for any losses your business incurred or wrongful gain the infringing party enjoyed as a result of the infringement
Patent litigation is extremely technical, and you can often expect defendants to challenge the fact that their conduct infringes on your patent. You want a qualified lawyer representing your patent rights during this process and in court.
If you are facing a patent infringement claim, you also want an experienced patent litigator on your side. Often, these allegations are overreaching, and you should not have to stop using a design or pay damages if you did not truly infringe on an existing patent.