My Business is Being Sued for Patent Infringement – What Should I Do?

Obtaining legal representation should be your first priority after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from a patent-owner, or notice that an individual or organization has instituted a civil action against you for patent infringement pursuant to 35 U.S. Code § 271.

At The Lomnitzer Law Firm, P.A., our team of intellectual property lawyers could ensure you a robust defense against claims of patent infringement. We understand that halting production or removing a product from your business offerings can be catastrophic to the functioning of your corporate organization.

How to Manage Cease-and-Desist Letters Claiming Patent Infringement

Many patent infringement actions start with a cease-and-desist letter sent by the party alleging infringement of its patent(s) to the entity accused of that activity. A cease-and-desist letter essentially demands that the receiving party stop committing acts that the sender claims is unlawful. The recipient is typically threatened with litigation if it does not cease the conduct specified in the letter by a certain date.

If you receive a cease-and-desist letter, contact your attorney immediately. The letter, itself, is not an indication that formal court proceedings have been initiated against you, but you may be torn on what to do next. If you comply with the letter and cease manufacturing or selling products that the alleged patent-holder asserts are infringing on their invention, your business could be negatively impacted. If you do not comply, you may end up in protracted litigation.

The silver lining of a cease-and-desist is that there is still time to weigh the costs of suspending production or continuing with your trade while attempting to settle the controversy outside of court.

Negotiations can be relatively informal, but your strategy should always be handled by an experienced attorney who works in intellectual property. There are also more structured Alternative Dispute Resolution forums, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Arbitration and Mediation Center.

Persuading the other side to work out the patent infringement issue without litigation saves both sides the time and expense of going before a federal judge to dispose of complex questions of patent law and the facts of the patent under scrutiny, which is often laden with scientific, pharmaceutical, digital, and other nuances.

How to Proceed After Receiving Notice of a Patent Infringement Suit

Alternatively, a patent-holder may go straight to court and file a formal complaint alleging that your business has committed patent infringement. You may be surprised upon receiving notice of the complaint, but your lawyer can advise you on your options to defend against the accusation of infringement.

Plaintiffs advancing patent-infringement arguments bring their claims under 35 U.S. Code § 271. Since this is a federal law, litigation typically occurs in the U.S. District Courts, which have original jurisdiction in these matters, per 28 U.S.C. § 1338.

Having a skilled lawyer is indispensable in these cases, as the venue can arise as a pretrial issue; the procedural determination of the correct forum becomes even more complicated when international parties are involved. Sophisticated legal counsel is, therefore, necessary just to navigate legal questions of place and process before voir dire is even considered.

Your attorney can also provide you with advice as to defenses against a patent infringement claim. Your best defense may simply be that you did not infringe at all. Another defense attacks the patent itself; in that case, your counsel would argue that no valid patent exists, pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 282(b)(2). There are other available defenses that are highly technical, both scientifically and legally. Moreover, if the plaintiff does not bring a claim within the six-year statute of limitations fixed by 35 U.S.C. § 286, even a valid allegation of patent infringement is barred from judicial intervention.

Call Us When Your Business is Being Accused of Patent Infringement

The Lomnitzer Law Firm has a group of intellectual property attorneys who have a deep understanding of patent law and have backgrounds in complex litigation, which will benefit your defense against accusations of infringement.

If you are being threatened with an injunction that could disturb your supply chain, or damages that would bankrupt your business, reach out to schedule a consultation and get the legal representation you need.