What Is Contingency-Fee Patent Litigation?
Contingency-fee litigation serves to aid clients in pursuing patent litigation that they might otherwise not be able to afford. For many small businesses and companies, patent litigation is too expensive to pursue. Contingency-fee litigation is a cost-effective means for small businesses and companies to receive skilled counsel and defend their rights in intellectual property lawsuits. A contingency fee agreement for patent litigation means you do not have to pay your lawyer for his time unless your case settles, or you prevail in court. For corporate clients, this provides a company with the opportunity to use its money to grow its business and still have the ability to enforce its intellectual property. For individuals with a claim that has strong merit but who lack the resources to litigate a patent infringement case, it provides an avenue for representation that may otherwise not be available. This type of representation does not charge an hourly rate to clients. Instead, contingency-fee patent litigation attorneys receive a percentage of the final judgment awarded to their clients. The attorney-client agreement specifies what percentage of the final judgment the attorney receives as payment. Contingency-fee patent litigation attorneys receive payment only if they win the case for their client. Therefore, like the client, your contingency-fee patent litigation attorney has an incentive to win the case. This type of representation showcases an attorney’s ability to provide effective and efficient representation. A contingency-fee patent litigation attorney assesses the merits of your case by reviewing the following questions: Is there a valid cause of action? Are there sufficient damages? Are the damages collectible from the defendant? How much attorney time and costs will it require to complete the lawsuit? After considering these factors, an attorney may take your case on a contingency-fee-basis only if the attorney believes in the likely success of the case. Benefits of a Contingency-Fee Patent Litigation Attorney Contingency-fee patent litigation offers many benefits to clients. A qualified contingency-fee patent litigation attorney evaluates your cases goals and how best to achieve those results. Lower Out-of-Pocket Costs Patent litigation lawsuits are costly and time-consuming. Most individuals and small businesses don’t have the cash flow to continue paying a firm the high costs associated with an intellectual property lawsuit. A contingency-fee patent litigation agreement does away with the worry of how to pay attorney fees up front. However, the client generally must pay for expenses related to litigation costs, such as filing fees and travel. If your contingency-fee patent litigation attorney fails to obtain a judgment or settlement, you pay nothing as a fee to the attorney. An Incentive to Settle When Proper The nature of contingency-fee patent litigation representation incentivizes both client and attorney to act with joint interests. This incentive pushes both client and attorney to conclude the lawsuit in the most favorable manner possible. Therefore, when it makes sense to settle a case, both parties will be incentivized. Additionally, when it makes sense to pursue litigation through trial, both parties have the same goal. A contingency-fee patent litigation agreement spreads the risk of litigation to both client and attorney. Contingency-fee patent litigation pays an attorney only if their client wins their case. By contrast, the typical hourly agreement between client and attorney requires the client to assume all risks, regardless of the outcome. A contingency-fee patent litigation attorney takes these types of cases based on the probability of success. An attorney should always diligently defend their client. However, in traditional hourly agreements, an attorney may not always believe in a case’s merits. If an attorney takes your case on contingency, they are staking their own time and resources on the case. Therefore, you can trust that your case has merit and that your attorney isn?t simply racking up fees on a lost cause. Time and Cost Control Some law firms behave in a manner to maximize billable hours in a lawsuit. In contingency-fee patent litigation lawsuits, a firm has no incentive to bill unnecessary hours or costs to a client. This drives the firm to work more efficiently toward the resolution of your case. Your attorney will be incentivized to avoid expensive delays through excessive pleadings, depositions, or conferences. Areas of Intellectual Property Handled on a Contingency-Fee Basis Contingency-fee arrangements are possible in all intellectual property litigation. Consult with a contingency-fee patent litigation attorney to review the elements of your case and determine the suitability of a contingency fee agreement. Patents A patent affords the patent holder the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention. Patent protection lasts twenty years. There are three different types of patents:? Design patents, which protect the ornamental design of an invention; Utility patents, which protect the use or operation of a new machine, process or system; and Plant patents, which protect new types of engineered plants. There are five criteria to meet to qualify for a patent. These include the following: The invention must cover patentable subject matter; The invention must have utility; The invention must be novel; The invention must be non-obvious; and There must be no disclosure of the invention before the patent application. Anyone who unlawfully makes, sells, or uses a product covered by a claim of an existing patent may be liable for infringement. If you believe someone has infringed your patent, a contingency-fee patent litigation attorney will review the validity of your patent and its existing claims to determine its merits. Copyrights Copyright owners have the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and license their copyright. If anyone infringes on this right, the author has a claim for copyright infringement. Damages for copyright infringement lawsuits include profits made by infringing the copyright and damages for past infringement. Copyright protections extend to the following: Music, literary, and artistic works; Pictures, graphics, and sculptural works; Movies; Sound recordings; Computer software; and Architectural works. Copyright protections extend only to expressions, not to ideas, methods of operations, or concepts. Copyrights generally last for the life of the author plus 70 years. Trademarks Trademarks serve to identify and […] Read more..
The Complete Guide: Types of Patent Infringement
Having a patent gives you the right to prevent others from making, using, or selling your patented invention. If a company or individual does one of these things, the patent owner may have a cause of action for patent infringement. If you believe someone has infringed on your patent or if you have been accused of patent infringement, reach out to an experienced patent litigation lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can evaluate the claim and provide you with legal advice. At TPLF, we can provide you with that advice. We have been advising clients on patent infringement related issues for more than 25 years. Please give us a call – we would be happy to talk to you. The initial consultation is at no charge. What Is a Patent? The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants patents to inventions that are new, useful, non-obvious, and not excluded from patent eligibility under federal law. A utility patent typically lasts for 20 years from filing of the application. What Are the Different Types of Patent Infringement? There are several types of patent infringement. Infringement can be direct or indirect, and it can be literal or under the doctrine of equivalents. Direct v. Indirect Infringement Direct infringement Direct infringement occurs when someone directly violates your patent rights. That is, they make, use, sell, offer to sell or import your patented invention. Indirect infringement Indirect infringement occurs when someone provides support for a directly infringing activity. Indirect infringement can be through inducement or contributory infringement. Induced infringement Induced infringement occurs when a party with knowledge of the patent encourages or influences someone else to commit acts of infringement. For example, the person might provide someone with instructions for creating the patented invention. Contributory infringement A person commits contributory infringement when they supply components of a patented invention knowing that the components will be used to infringe a patent. For contributory infringement to exist, the component must have no substantial non-infringing uses. For example, if someone sold a product that would be useful only if combined into a patented product, that might be considered contributory infringement. Literal v. Equivalent Infringement Literal infringement Literal infringement occurs when a device or process literally meets every limitation in a patent claim. If even one component is different, it cannot be considered literal infringement. Infringement under the doctrine of equivalents If someone has not literally infringed a patent, there still may be infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. Equivalent infringement may occur when the corresponding pieces of the accused product or process are not substantially different from the corresponding limitation in the claim of the patent. What Is The Effect Of Willful Patent Infringement? In the case of willful infringement, a court can triple the amount of damages that it would normally award to a patent holder. Infringement is not literally willful if an infringer had a good faith belief that it was not violating the patent or that the patent was invalid. In that case, they may still be liable for infringement. What Types of Remedies Are Available for Patent Infringement? Remedies for patent infringement may include injunctive relief and damages. An injunction orders someone to stop their infringing actions. Money damages are typically awarded for patent infringement under the patent laws, a patent owner is entitled to at least a reasonable royalty. Additionally, in certain instances, a patent owner may be able to recover lost profits from an infringer. How Can The Polasek Law Firm Help You? John (Ted) Polasek has spent the past 25 years working on all types of patent infringement cases. He has experience with both enforcing patents and defending accused infringers. Ted believes in providing one-on-one personalized service for each client. Call or contact The Polasek Law Firm today to set up a free consultation with Ted and learn how he can help with your patent infringement case. Read more..
What Is an Intellectual Property Lawyer?
An intellectual property lawyer is a lawyer who helps people register, protect, and make money from their unique ideas. The United States prides itself on ingenuity and innovation. Accordingly, multiple protections are available to those who invent and create. Despite these protections, the IP Commission reports that pirated software, counterfeit goods, and trade secret theft cost the U.S. economy between $225 and $600 billion every year. This goes to show just how valuable intellectual property can be. Unfortunately, the ins and outs of intellectual property, or IP, law can be hard to navigate without experience. That is why you should rely on an experienced intellectual property lawyer to help you protect your ideas. How Is Intellectual Property Protected? There are four main ways to protect intellectual property in the United States. Patent A patent gives an inventor the right to prevent others from “making, using, offering for sale, or selling” an invention for a certain period of time. Utility patents last for 20 years and apply to inventions and discoveries of useful and new products or processes. Design patents, on the other hand, apply to inventions of a new ornamental design for a product and last for only 15 years. Patents are designed to allow inventors to profit from their ideas by giving them time to develop, market, and sell their invention without interference. However, patents eventually expire so as not to unduly inhibit competition and innovation. Trademark Trademarks include things like logos, company or product names, and catchphrases. They are the things that make your product or company stand out from others. A trademark can be protected even if it is not registered. However, registering your trademark gives you broader protection and puts others on notice that you own the trademark. To register a trademark, you have to actually use it or intend to use it in commerce. Additionally, the trademark must be distinctive. The more distinctive your mark, the more protection it will receive. While trademarks can last indefinitely, you need to regularly renew your registered trademarks. Copyright Copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to copy a work. It pertains mostly to creative works such as books, music, visual art, photographs, video, and other media. Rules have changed over the years regarding how long a copyright lasts. However, the current rules apply to anything created after January 1, 1978. If the author is one or more individuals, the copyright lasts for the longest surviving author?s lifetime plus 70 years. If the author is an institution or is anonymous, the copyright lasts for 95 years from the time of publication or 120 years from the time of creation, whichever comes first. Trade Secrets Trade secrets include inventions, processes, designs, compilations, etc. that have economic value to a business because of their secrecy. Trade secrets are protected by secrecy rather than registration. There is no limit on how long you can keep a trade secret as long as you take adequate steps to protect it. Even if your secret is stolen, there are laws in place that may allow you to stop others from using or profiting from your secrets. What Is an Intellectual Property Lawyer? An intellectual property lawyer can advise you on the best way to preserve your IP rights and profit from your ideas. As discussed above, there are several possible ways to protect your intellectual property, but without proper advice, it’s easy to take the wrong path. For example, let’s say you have invented a new machine that will speed up the production of widgets. In that case, there is actually more than one way to protect your invention from IP infringement. The best method for you depends on how you plan to use the invention. If you plan to market your machine to manufacturers, then you will want to file for a patent so that you maintain the exclusive right to develop and sell the machine for the length of the patent. On the other hand, if you intend to use the machine to develop widgets yourself, and it will keep the machine secret, you may be better off relying on trade secret protection rather than registering a patent. A patent will expire after 20 years, but you can keep a trade secret indefinitely. Your IP attorney can discuss these types of questions with you and help you determine the best way to protect your ideas. Your attorney can also help you take action if someone tries to use your intellectual property illegally. They may send a letter insisting that the person stop their infringement. If the person refuses, then your attorney can file a lawsuit and seek money damages, and possibly an injunction. How Can Polasek Law Help with Your IP Needs? John (Ted) Polasek has spent the past 25 years helping clients all over the country to establish and enforce their IP rights. Ted focuses on helping inventors and companies enforce their patent, trademark, and trade secret rights or defending companies accused of violating these rights of others. Ted can also help you apply for and obtain trademarks. He provides the type of individualized attention that you can’t find at larger firms, and he offers flexible fee arrangements to meet your personal needs. Call or contact Polasek Law today to schedule a free initial consultation and learn what Ted can do for you. Read more..