I have received a cease and desist letter
The letter claims that my company is infringing a US Patent. Can you (and your company) ignore the letter? I wouldn’t recommend ignoring a letter. If your company ignores the cease and desist letter, your company could regret not responding to that letter.
How do I know if the cease and desist letter is valid?
An experienced patent attorney can assist you in determining if the claim of infringement has merit. Among other things, your patent counsel will review the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) record regarding the Patent. Additionally, your attorney will compare your company’s allegedly infringing goods and/or services against the USPTO record.
It is also wise to have your legal counsel prepare an opinion regarding whether or not your company’s goods or services are infringing the potential plaintiff’s Patent.
What are my company’s options?
When responding to an allegation of patent infringement, use experienced counsel. Your patent attorney may recommend any of the following options and/or actions. For example, you (or your company) could:
- Secure an agreement with the Patent holder stating that your company’s goods and/or services do not infringe the Patent holder’s Patent
- Enter into a license agreement with the Patent holder
- Establish a cross-license agreement with the Patent holder
- Phase-out and cease the use of your company’s allegedly infringing goods and/or services
- Your company and the Patent holder may agree to mediation or arbitration
- Join with other third parties receiving a similar cease and desist letter from the Patent holder and collectively litigate against the validity of the Patent holder’s Patent
- Institute a USPTO Post Grant Procedure against the patentability and/or validity of the Patent holder’s Patent
- In a federal district court, institute a Declaratory Action Judgment action against the Patent holder
- After the Patent holder has instituted an infringement action against your company’s goods and/or services in a federal district court, counter-claim that the Patent holder’s Patent is invalid
- After litigation is commenced in the federal court system, settle the matter
Costs to the company
As a general rule, costs for a USPTO Post Grant procedure are much less than the costs of litigating in the federal court system. The costs associated with USPTO Post Grant procedures and mediation or arbitration can be similar.
If you have received a cease and desist letter and need legal assistance, please contact Business Patent Law, PLLC. Likewise, if your company believes another company has infringed your Patent and you need to send a cease and desist letter, please contact Business Patent Law, PLLC and we will discuss possibilities for your business.
Business Patent Law, PLLC provides intellectual property and business counsel for businesses and companies.
If you would like to stay up-to-date with news that impacts your business and intellectual property, sign up for Business Patent Law’s Monthly Mailer™ newsletter.