How to Fight Patent Trolls (and win)

How to Fight Patent Trolls (and win)Patents serve many great purposes for entrepreneurs and businesses all around the world; they empower inventors to create new products and technologies for the public to use and provide feedback on for future iterations. They also protect ideas from being stolen and replicated by other companies who wish to profit from someone else’s designs.

Unfortunately, not all who use the patenting system do so with moral intentions. Some simply game the system by purchasing patents in order to make a quick buck. Luckily, these individuals are not invincible. Here’s everything you need to know about how to fight patent trolls in a court of law.

What is a patent troll?

A patent troll is defined as an individual or organization who “obtains the rights to one or more patents in order to profit by means of licensing or litigation, rather than by producing its own goods or services.” In other words, patent trolls are not interested in purchasing patented technology so that they can improve upon these innovations and enhance humanity through their work. They simply wish to sue other individuals or organizations who infringe upon this patent for their own financial gain.

How do patent trolls attack?

Patent trolls deliver their threat to “offending parties” much like a computer hacker injects a virus into your PC and holds your files for ransom: You will receive a threat – most likely in the mail – stating that your organization has infringed upon a patent owned by the sender; simply send over a predetermined sum of money (or adhere to other demands), and no legal action will be taken against you.

Sounds fishy? It certainly can be.

How to fight patent trolls (and win).

Now that you’ve been “served,” so to speak, you will be tasked with choosing to pay the sum of the troll’s demands, or you can fight. If you select the latter option (hint, hint, you should), your first order of business is to find a skilled patent attorney to represent your case.

Together, you and your attorney will investigate whether or not the alleged patent violation has any legal standing against your organization. You will answer the question: Is my company actually in breach of their patent or not?

Next, you and your lawyer will find faults in the patent troll’s case by seeking non-infringement loopholes, identifying any pieces of patent invalidity and even filing a counterclaim to be paid to your organization for damages and expenses caused by the patent troll for bringing their case upon you. Since patent trolls are in the business to make money, they will quickly drop a case that could reasonably end with you receiving a paid settlement instead of them.

Don’t try to fight patent trolls alone.

Even though patent troll schemes are usually intended for the plaintiff to make a quick buck, you can be sure that the troll has invested the time and money to win their case. In many situations, the patent troll already has a patent lawyer on their team. That means the troll will attempt to exercise any legal rights they have at their disposal in order to win their case against you.

As a result, you are advised to recruit a patent professional to your team, as well. For more information on how Zachary Hiller Patent Attorney can help you win your patent troll case, contact me online or by phone here.

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