DEFENDING AN INFRINGEMENT ACTION
Sometimes, rather than owning an infringed IP right, you may find yourself on the receiving end of an infringement action. This usually takes the form of a ‘letter before action’ arriving and requesting that you immediately cease infringing a particular patent, design or trade mark. Such a letter may also be accompanied by undertakings which may contain various demands requesting compensation of one kind or another, and assurances regarding prevention of future infringement.
Albright IP can help you deal with this sort of situation. Infringement is rarely a clear-cut issue, and the letter will most likely have been worded very carefully to avoid ‘threats’, although the underlying tone of the letter may indicate otherwise. We can review the intellectual property rights at hand and assess whether you are more or less likely to have actually infringed those rights. We can also suggest potential avenues for counter-attack, such as reasons that the intellectual property right may be invalid, for example. In this scenario, this could provide leverage for obtaining a royalty-free license, for example, in exchange for silence on the issue of validity.
Often, issues of infringement can be settled by negotiating, rather than litigating in court. This is because court cases can be relatively expensive, and so it can be more cost-effective for both parties to settle out of court. However, if negotiations fail to resolve the issue, Albright IP can advise you further and guide you through the process of defending yourself in court. One of the most commonly-used courts in IP cases is the IPEC (Intellectual Property Enterprise Court), which is both cost-effective and a relatively fast route for settling court cases. There is also a cap on recoverable costs, which takes away some of the uncertainty in overall court costs.
The important thing to do is to engage professional attorneys before responding to any sort of letter claiming you infringe someone else’s rights. Please contact us now to discuss your situation further with one of our experienced attorneys.