What is Contingent 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 distinguish the goods or services of an individual or business. Trademarks apply to the following:

  • Names;
  • Symbols;
  • Catchphrases and slogans; and
  • Product design and packaging.

Protection for trademarks exists under both federal and state laws. Additionally, common law protections apply for trademark use. While competing trademarks may be similar, courts conduct multiple tests to determine whether infringement has occurred.

Damages for trademark infringement include profits made by infringement of the trademark, damages for past infringement, and royalty payments.

Why Should You Hire A Contingency-Fee Patent Litigation Attorney

Not every case is suited for contingency-fee patent litigation.

However, when this kind of arrangement makes sense, you can be assured that a contingency-fee patent litigation attorney from The Polasek Law Firm will handle your case skillfully, efficiently, and with your best interests in mind.

You can also receive the financial assurance that you or your company will not incur attorney fees associated with your case’s litigation unless you win your case. 

Do you have questions regarding contingency-fee patent litigation?

Do you want to discuss the facts of your case with a qualified contingency-fee patent litigation attorney?

If so, contact us today! We provide an initial consultation at no charge.

Author Photo

Ted Polasek

Ted was a founding partner of Polasek, Quisenberry & Errington, L.L.P. (?PQE?), a firm that represented patent owners and companies accused of patent infringement. For nearly 25 years, Ted?s core practice has been litigating patent infringement cases, for hourly and clients on a contingent fee or other result-oriented basis. Ted attended the South Texas College of Law and received his Juris Doctorate in 1990 and received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas.

Rate this Post

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...