Litigation

Intellectual Property Litigation

Sometimes an Outsider is Needed to Resolve Disputes.

Unfortunately, sometimes people or businesses violate other’s intellectual property rights – their patents, their trademarks, their copyrights. Sometimes this is inadvertent and, with negotiations they will cease their unlawful conduct. They may even become licensees to each other’s benefit. But, if they do not, the owner must enforce ownership rights in intellectual property.

On the other hand, sometimes people or businesses are accused of violating other’s intellectual property rights. Even after the accused shows that there is no violation, the person or business may yet attempt to enforce a right not owned.

In either event, an outside decision-maker will determine the rights. Most often, this is the federal court system, but sometimes formal arbitration. Even after litigation begins, parties have numerous opportunities to resolve the dispute without the risk of a trial to twelve lay people, the jury.

Managing Resources in Intellectual Property & Patent Litigation

While it is important to pursue patent litigation, trademark litigation, and copyright litigation aggressively, it is equally important to remember that litigation is an expensive and disruptive endeavor. No one should get involved in litigation lightly. Many understand the out-of-pocket expenses of litigation, but few realize how disruptive to litigation can be to a business.

By working with electronic information and carefully monitoring how many employees need to be involved in the litigation, the disruptive nature of litigation can be minimized both in the employees’ being taken away from their important work and the discouragement that often comes from those employees’ being involved in a process they do not understand. Most litigation is centered on the discovery of documents from all participants. Since almost all documents in the 21st century are electronic, effectively managing those electronic documents can insulate the employees from the litigation and allow them to concentrate on their core competencies.

Resolving Litigation.

Because litigation does not generally improve corporate revenues, but is simply designed to “make the injured whole,” resolving disputes as early as possible is of paramount importance. Mediation, both with and without a neutral, can sometimes resolve the dispute. Parties must always be mindful of the opportunities at all stages of litigation to resolve disputes without further court involvement. Negotiating a solution is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that the business knows that working on its business interests sometimes will be more beneficial than continuing litigation.

Sometimes Trials are Necessary.

Sometimes, even with the best efforts, an outsider is needed to make a final determination of the rights of the parties. Typically, this will be a trial with witnesses, experts and exhibits. It is important to be able to communicate with the lay people on the jury in a way that they are accustomed to understanding complex issues – with videos, electronic images and simplified testimony.

Finality?

Courts and juries make mistakes. In the event of a bad result, court systems have other courts available to look over their conduct and make corrections.

Stages

  • Investigate allegations of infringement
  • Formal cease and desist letter and response
  • Determine whether litigation is desirable
  • Injunction? Declaratory Relief? Damage lawsuit?
  • Discovery of information and complete investigation
  • Mediation and negotiation
  • Trial preparation
  • Trial
  • Appeal

For general information, please Contact Us online or call (970) 492-0000.