Patent litigation can be incredibly complex and expensive. An attorney with a deep technical and scientific background can help you save time, money, and effort.
A patent case involves a jury that decides factual issues such as infringement and damages. Plaintiff attorneys explain the patent’s claims and introduce fact witnesses and expert testimonies. The defendant cross-examines these witnesses and presents its evidence to challenge the patent’s validity.
Representation in Court
When a patent holder believes that a company has infringed on their patent, they can file a lawsuit against the infringing party in a U.S. district court. The plaintiff must prove that they will suffer financial hardship if the infringing product continues to be made and that the infringement was intentional.
All patent cases involve a plaintiff, a defendant, attorneys for both parties and expert witnesses. The experts help the judges and juries understand the patented invention, how it compares to other technology, and how the patent claims are interpreted.
The best patent litigation attorney has a deep technical or scientific background, patent prosecution experience, and litigation experience. They also thoroughly understand federal laws governing patents and intellectual property rights. Patent attorneys regularly represent clients before the U.S. district courts, the ITC, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. They also practice on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning they only receive a payment if they win the case for their client.
Patent litigation is an intense, resource-intensive process that can be time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, companies must have experienced patent litigators.
Patent ownership confers a right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the patented invention. It can also entitle the patent owner to royalties. Many inventors seek to enforce those rights by sending infringers cease-and-desist letters, often followed by a demand for payment of a license fee.
Depending on the circumstances, patent litigation attorneys might recommend settlement negotiations. In addition to saving costs in the long run, this process can preserve business relationships and avoid negative publicity. Negotiation has its challenges, however. A knowledgeable patent attorney will use a combination of legal and technical knowledge to help their client negotiate a fair agreement.
During this case phase, parties may exchange information, document requests, and attend court-appointed conferences. Plaintiff attorneys will also offer expert witness testimony on purported infringement and damages. The defendant’s counsel will challenge this evidence and provide its specialist testimony to refute it. The judge will then decide the merits of the case. In some cases, the matter might go to appeal.
Defending your patent rights can be time-consuming and expensive. Rather than fight it out in court, parties to an infringement action often reach a settlement that allows both sides to move forward and save costs.
Patent attorneys have experience litigating patent infringement cases on the defense and enforcement sides. They have the technical expertise to make complex evidence comprehensible for judges and juries. They have handled patent acquisition for various complex technologies, including biotechnology processes and products, pharmaceuticals, business systems and methods, computer hardware and software, telecommunications equipment, battery chemistry, optics and cameras, and security and monitoring equipment.
They also have extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution. They have helped clients settle intellectual property disputes in arbitration and mediation, similar to trials but are private and less formal. They have also represented clients in the appeals process.
After a verdict is announced, the court typically has a set time limit within which the losing party can submit various post-trial motions. These are requests to change the verdict in some way.
For example, a defendant may file a motion to set aside the jury’s verdict because some error occurred during the trial that would make the ruling unfair. These are often called “miscarriage of justice” motions, and the judge has considerable discretion regarding whether a new trial should be granted.
Another type of post-trial motion is a motion for judgment as a matter of law, formerly known as a directed verdict. After presenting all of their evidence on an issue in a jury trial, a party can ask the court to decide the matter for them because there is no reasonable evidentiary basis for a jury to find in favor of that party.
Finally, a defendant might argue that the plaintiff engaged in patent misuse by seeking damages or an injunction beyond the scope of the claim and the terms of the patent. This is also referred to as inequitable conduct and is an affirmative defense that, if proven, makes the patent unenforceable.
Whether you’re a patent owner or accused of infringement, an appeal may be necessary to protect your intellectual property rights. We are experienced in handling appeals at all levels, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court.
Attorneys have the technical insight to explain complex scientific concepts to judges and juries. They have extensive experience in various industries, including biotechnology, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, electronics, semiconductors, software, and aerospace equipment.
Appealing a case involves filing a document, often a short form, that notifies the trial court that you want to appeal the decision. In addition, the appellant must usually pay for a court reporter to transcribe the transcript of the entire trial and then review it to prepare the case record for the higher appellate court. On appeal, the higher court will only review matters that were objected to or argued in the lower court during the trial.