Patent litigation can be lengthy and expensive!
When an inventor, business or other entity owns a patent, and that patent is infringed, the patent owner has few alternatives other than patent litigation. And while several large settlements have been won in patent infringement lawsuits, patent litigation is usually lengthy, and patent litigation is always very expensive!
In fact, patent litigation is a classic David-versus-Goliath struggle. The plaintiff in patent litigation can be an individual or small business, while the defendant in patent litigation is often a large corporation with virtually unlimited resources. The defendant in patent litigation will aggressively contest every aspect of the patent owner’s claim. It is not enough to have a valid patent and a strong claim when you enter into patent litigation. The case will be won by the side that knows what it is doing, and the side that has the experience, the resolve and the resources to vigorously pursue the litigation to a successful resolution!
Patent litigation can have several outcomes
There are several possible outcomes to patent litigation, and the patent owner needs to be aware of them:
- Injunctive Relief: As part of a total patent litigation strategy, we may be able to secure an injunction ordering the patent infringer to cease production and/or sale of the infringing product or service that uses the patent. While this puts a halt to the illegal use of the patent, it provides no compensation to the patent owner. It does, however, put pressure on the infringer that is now deprived of an income stream from that product. However, it is very difficult for a non-practicing entity (that is, the patent owner does not manufacture a product that uses the patent) to obtain a permanent injunction.
- Exclusion Order: Another patent litigation approach, if the patent infringer is a foreign entity, and the patent owner is an “efficiently-run domestic industry,” is to take the case to the International Trade Commission (ITC), which may issue an exclusion order. The exclusion order is similar to a permanent injunction as it prohibits the patent infringer from importing products that use the infringed patent into the United States. However, as in the case of an injunction, the exclusion order does not compensate the patent owner for damages. For this reason, General Patent often pursues patent litigation along parallel tracks in both the ITC − in the hope of obtaining an exclusion order − and in Federal Court − in the hope of recovering monetary damages.
- Monetary Damages: Whether or not a permanent injunction is an option or is obtained, a patent owner is entitled to recover damages from the infringer. If the patent owner practices the patented invention, it may be entitled to receive lost profits that it would have made from the patent. A patent owner is entitled to at least receive royalties from the infringer for use of the patent. The Court may leave it up to the plaintiff to bring a subsequent patent infringement action if the defendant continues to infringe the patent.
- Negotiated Settlement: If the patent owner has a skilled and well-financed firm managing the litigation − one who will not be bullied into submission − the patent owner may be able to avoid a trial and negotiate a settlement involving a licensing arrangement under which the patent owner is paid a royalty for use of the patent. Such an arrangement can also include retroactive payments for prior use of the patent. Most patent infringement lawsuits are settled. According to industry statistics, 70% of patent infringement lawsuits are settled after one year in litigation and after parties have spent one million dollars in litigation costs. Of all filed patent infringement cases only about 4% ultimately reach trial. The rest are either settled or disposed of on summary judgment.
- Mediation: A skilled patent litigation plaintiff may be able to force the defendant to agree to the use of a mediator. This process often leads to a settlement of the patent litigation, and avoids a trial and subsequent appeals of the verdict by the defendant. Patent attorneys and licensing professionals at General Patent have participated in dozens of successful mediations and are very skilled in settling patent infringement lawsuits in this manner.So what should your patent litigation strategy be?
The answer is that every independent inventor, small company or any patent litigation plaintiff that lacks the wherewithal to enforce its patent needs a patent enforcement champion who is well-financed and experienced in patent enforcement, patent licensing and patent litigation. And since General Patent Corporation is the oldest and largest patent enforcement firm, many patent litigation plaintiffs select General Patent to help them pursue their litigation.Unbeatable patent litigation track record
How successful has General Patent been over the last 20-plus years on behalf of our patent litigation clients? General Patent has either negotiated a satisfactory settlement with the defendant on behalf of our client, or we have won a settlement at trial for every single client! That’s why so many patent holders look to General Patent to help them win settlement of their patent litigation!
Added-value services at no cost to the plaintiff
General Patent brings several value-added services to patent litigation, and does so without any expenditure on the part of the plaintiff. If General Patent agrees to represent you, we take the case on a contingency basis. General Patent covers all litigation costs – from filing fees to expert witnesses – and only gets paid if we produce a favorable outcome for you, the patent litigation plaintiff.
Besides underwriting the case, General Patent undertakes all licensing activities and assumes complete responsibility for prosecuting the patent infringement litigation. Aside from its financial resources, General Patent brings to bear its formidable expertise and reputation to the advantage of its clients. It costs nothing and it puts you under no obligation to have General Patent evaluate your case. Just complete a proposal request.