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What should you do when you become aware of the existence of a third party patent that claims subject matter possibly related to your company’s product? If you take no action to timely investigate the patent, and the product is subsequently held to infringe the patent at trial, the company may be at risk of a court finding that the infringement was willful and assessing enhanced damages. To mitigate this risk, “the law of willful infringement … requires prudent, ethical, legal and commercial actions” on which basis “a prudent person would have had sound reason to believe that the patent was not infringed or was invalid or unenforceable, and would be so held if litigated.” SIR International, Inc. v. Advanced Technology Laboratories, Inc., 127 F.3d 1462 (Fed. Cir. 1997).
By David S. Gold
Branding is not a new concept, nor are the various intellectual property laws that protect brands. What is new to most is how this burgeoning industry can take advantage of those laws within the context of state and federal restrictions.
By Tom Gushue
The owner of a commercially successful patent may have competing desires. On one hand, the patent owner wants to protect the patent and secure its maximum benefit; on the other hand, the patent owner wants to avoid enforcement litigation with competitors because it is expensive and puts the patent at risk.
By Glenn E.J. Murphy
Many observers greeted the passage of the AIA into law as a long-overdue overhaul of U.S. patent law that aligned it with patent systems prevailing in the rest of the world. Who knew what mischief just seven of the AIA’s more than 25,000 words contained? The U.S. Supreme Court answered earlier this year.
By Norman C. Simon and Patrick J. Campbell
The decision in Romag Fasteners v. Fossil will bring welcome uniformity, ending the status quo where eligibility to recover profits under the Lanham Act depends on which court is deciding the dispute