Our IP Group has extensive experience in enforcement of rights, from both the perspective of the property owner and of the accused party, handling cases all over the United States and worldwide. When our clients suspect competitors of unauthorized use of patented technology or other proprietary rights, we can help verify the activities, assess the legal and business options for enforcement, and provide the facts and understanding to help management determine the optimal course of action.
Our attorneys have handled all aspects of the vast array of enforcement proceedings, including litigation in state, federal and government agency courts and tribunals, investigations before the International Trade Commission, arbitrations, mediations, and formal and informal licensing programs. We take pride in helping our clients tailor their actions to the particular circumstances by identifying and presenting innovative options and information needed for practical and efficient business resolutions. While it is generally best to strive to avoid litigation where other effective options are available, we have the people, resources and experience to help our clients determine when and how to implement litigation or other inter partes proceedings for optimal business results.
When you are threatened with potential litigation, we will work with you to consider the facts of the situation on your behalf and respond appropriately to the threatening party. Following our review of the matter (which in a patent infringement situation would include obtaining the official prosecution file of the patent from the Patent Office and comparing the accused product with the patent claims), we would present to our opinion of the situation, options and risks involved. Strategy for responding to the threat letter or complaint would then be discussed and the appropriate response implemented. We usually advise setting up an in-house contact person through which all efforts are coordinated, and creating a plan for dealing with the problem effectively and efficiently. If a third party is infringing your patent, preliminary estimates of chances for success and potential damages would, of course, be determined and studied along with potential alternatives for resolution, prior to your decision of whether to initiate litigation. Similarly, we can assist you in responding to legal problems around the world. We have extensive experience in working with our foreign associates to study potential risks, chances for success, estimating costs of legal matters and actual litigation and/or proceedings in foreign forums.
There also may be times when you need to consider alternatives to negotiating licenses or litigating patent disputes. Examples include a third-party patent which appears to be invalid or unenforceable due to documented prior knowledge or use, publications or patents which may be advantageously attacked by requesting reexamination of the patent in the Patent Office.
Another example might include a situation where a patent which you own may be too narrow or broad and a reissue proceeding in the Patent Office may be desirable prior to further licensing or litigation activities. An interference proceeding may be indicated where a competitor has been issued a patent recently which appears to be the same invention as your own pending application. Our professionals are experienced in all of these inter partes and special proceedings, and can help you to evaluate your particular situation and map out an optimal strategy.
Because of our experience in the full spectrum of intellectual property practice, we can help you to understand how each of the many opportunities and alternatives of intellectual property law might be used to assist your company in protecting its technology and maximizing the benefits from these legal tools in your business.