I’m Andy Berks, patent attorney. I’m going to talk briefly today about what to do if you get sued for patent infringement. This is something that could happen to anyone working in any kind of product development or manufacturing, or even developing apps for computers, when a patent owner alleges you’re infringing their patent claims. I’ll give you some specific steps that may minimize your costs if this happens.
The key is being strategic in your response. The infringement claims may be totally baseless, and the patent may be from someone you’ve never heard of. But the last thing you want to do when you get sued is ignore it. That could open you up to a default judgement which could be very expensive to fix.
The first thing you should do contact patent counsel promptly. The general rule is you have to respond to a federal lawsuit in 21 days or you risk a default judgement – but the normal practice is to extend the time to respond. You should rely on a lawyer to help you with that.
There are several possible actions that your lawyer should discuss, Let me very briefly go through some of the options to respond:
One option is a motion to dismiss on the pleadings, and in a surprise infringement allegation, the claims may be so far off base, or there may some other obvious defect, that a court will dismiss the action immediately.
Another option is to negotiate a license and try to make a deal with the other side. Another option is to stop the infringing conduct – if you think the other side may have a leg to stand on. Another option is to fight the suit. That is probably going to be expensive, but its a business decision that many defendants elect.
This is obviously a very brief overview of a project that could become large and costly, or simply be a minor bump in the development of your business. I have handled many of these situations with cost effective solutions.
Please contact me if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for watching, stay safe, and have a great day.