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Defending Against Patent Trolls

Defending Against Patent Trolls

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A patent troll is an entity which seeks to enforce patent rights against an accused infringer in an effort to collect licensing fees but does not actually manufacture or supply products or services based on the patent in question. Patent trolls generally acquire “bad” or very broad patents from companies who are going through bankruptcy. Their business models are based on the acquisition of patents for the sole purpose of bringing baseless claims or threats of suit against practicing entities to obtain settlement.

Small and medium sized businesses are ideal targets because most do not have the capital or desire to engage in litigation. Most parties who receive demand letters from patent trolls will opt to settle even if they believe that the claim is baseless. This is because patent litigation is very costly and could take years to complete.

  1.  While settlement is the easier and faster route, it is not the only route for an individual or entity who receives a demand letter from a patent troll. There is also the option to fight back making it clear that you are not an easy target. Since every case is unique it is advisable to contact an attorney to assist in evaluating your case and determining the best route. Schedule a consultation with an experienced patent attorney at Spektor & Tsirkin P.C. who can advise you on the best course of action whether it may be
  2.  Attempting to prove non-infringement by conducting extensive research into the scope of the allegedly infringed patent’s claims to determine whether potential infringement may actually exist.
  3.  Attempting to have the patent invalidated if there is reason to believe that the allegedly infringed patent may be invalid or unenforceable. The enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act has brought with it various new and amended procedures for challenging the validity of a patent after issue. These procedures include ex parte reexamination, post grant review, inter partes review and covered business method patent review.
  4.  Determining whether a declaratory judgment action is appropriate. If your attorney has determined that you have a strong case for non-infringement or invalidity filing a declaratory judgment action may be appropriate.

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A patent troll is an entity which seeks to enforce patent rights against an accused infringer in an effort to collect licensing fees but does not actually manufacture or supply products or services based on the patent in question. Patent trolls generally acquire “bad” or very broad patents from companies who are going through bankruptcy. Their business models are based on the acquisition of patents for the sole purpose of bringing baseless claims or threats of suit against practicing entities to obtain settlement.

Small and medium sized businesses are ideal targets because most do not have the capital or desire to engage in litigation. Most parties who receive demand letters from patent trolls will opt to settle even if they believe that the claim is baseless. This is because patent litigation is very costly and could take years to complete.

  1.  While settlement is the easier and faster route, it is not the only route for an individual or entity who receives a demand letter from a patent troll. There is also the option to fight back making it clear that you are not an easy target. Since every case is unique it is advisable to contact an attorney to assist in evaluating your case and determining the best route. Schedule a consultation with an experienced patent attorney at Spektor & Tsirkin P.C. who can advise you on the best course of action whether it may be
  2.  Attempting to prove non-infringement by conducting extensive research into the scope of the allegedly infringed patent’s claims to determine whether potential infringement may actually exist.
  3.  Attempting to have the patent invalidated if there is reason to believe that the allegedly infringed patent may be invalid or unenforceable. The enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act has brought with it various new and amended procedures for challenging the validity of a patent after issue. These procedures include ex parte reexamination, post grant review, inter partes review and covered business method patent review.
  4.  Determining whether a declaratory judgment action is appropriate. If your attorney has determined that you have a strong case for non-infringement or invalidity filing a declaratory judgment action may be appropriate.
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Spektor & Tsirkin, P.C. is a full-service law firm with emphasis on IP and Technology Law.

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