What To Do If You Receive A Patent Demand Letter

Law Blog

If you are selling a product as part of your business sales and you receive a letter demanding you pay patent fees, you will want to take the necessary steps in order to avoid being sued or being swindled. Patent demand letters are a serious accusation that should be handled with the assistance of a business attorney, like Robert L Lilley Co Lpa. Here are some points to take in consideration if you should receive a patent demand letter of your own.

Consider Your Choices

When you get a patent demand letter, you have the option of replying with settlement, replying by fighting the accusations, or ignoring the allegations. There are times when each could be beneficial. If you did not realize you were infringing a patent, you may wish to settle before things escalate further. If you believe you did no wrongdoing, fighting the accusation may be the best choice.

Before responding to a letter, take it to your attorney for evaluation. There are many laws in place regarding patents that only an attorney would be able to sift through easily. Ignoring a patent demand letter could ruin your business if you decide to ignore it without reason. 

Find Out The Sender

Before you decide if you wish to respond to a patent demand letter, find out who was behind the mailing. If it is a competitor or a manufacturer of equipment that has something to do with the construction of the product you are selling, you will want to take the allegations seriously. These companies could greatly affect your business dealings by bringing them to a halt if they decide to take further action.

If the sender is a remote company that has nothing to do with the product or manufacturing, it may be a corporation trying to target your business by swindling you out of funds that do not need to be paid. Some letters are written in a way to intimidate the recipient, by using legal jargon. Your attorney will be able to advise you whether fees should be paid or not.

Challenge The Accusation

If you believe the accusation in invalid, you will want to challenge it to stop harassment and false claims. You can counteract a patent demand letter by filing a re-examination request. This would allow the patent to be looked it in depth to determine if the letter sent was just or not. You can take the company to court for false allegations, if necessary.

You could also claim that the patent was filed for after the invention was used in "prior art". This shows the invention was already publicized before the patent was in place, making the product exempt from patent fees.


13 April 2015

Business Law Basics: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

When I started my first small business, I had no idea how much I really didn’t know. I was fully prepared to deal with customers, sell product and even handle complaints and returns. What I wasn’t aware of was that there is so much more to it. I was lacking the legal expertise to protect the company and myself. I wanted others to benefit from my experience, mistakes and lessons learned, so I started this blog. From employment law to the legal business contracts you’ll have to sign when you form partnerships, business law is complex. I hope that the information here will help you to be better prepared when you start your business so that you’ll know when you need to call an attorney and when you can handle things yourself.