Archive for infringement

Litigation Funding for Innovators Can Be Used to Fight Patent Infringement

If an individual or corporation infringes on someone’s patented invention, there is no patent police force to pursue justice. Instead, the inventor must dip into their own pockets – which might not be very deep – to fight this infringement action. This type of patent usurpation even has a name – efficient infringement.

But there is a way to access help. Litigation funding markets can be tapped and have proven to be effective in derailing efficient infringement patent actions.

From the infringing companies’ or individuals’ standpoints, it is cheaper to move in on a patent than it would be to simply play fair and pay licensing fees. They know patent owners cannot afford protracted legal battles to protect their products or logos.

The way the current system is set up, should the patent owner sue, the efficient infringer only has to deliver a “reasonable royalty,” i.e., the same sum they would have paid to legally license the patented product. With most lawsuits, that’s the extent of the matter. Even when the patent owner prevails, they may be out tens of thousands in legal fees and court costs.

Punitive damages that triple what defendants must pay to winning plaintiffs only apply if the courts find the defendants willfully infringed on the patents they used without paying licensing fees. Unfortunately, the standards of proof are high, and these damages are rarely awarded in patent cases.

Worst of all, the usurpers can seek to invalidate the original patents through inter-partes reviews.

All Is Not Lost

Litigation funders have a trove of financial and legal resources to offer patent owners who are victims of efficient infringement. Intellectual property cases are a popular choice for these legal professionals to back with their funding and knowledge of the intricacies of patent laws.

Two academic institutions, the California Institute of Technology and Columbia University, used litigation funding in recent patent infringement cases. Both won huge settlements – and Columbia still has a treble damage claim pending that could swell its $150 million award considerably.

Efficient infringement remains a problem even with litigation funding available. Closely examine all your legal options when faced with usurpation of your patented idea or product.

New Apple Watch Patent Lawsuit Could Put Your Favorite Watch Out of Reach, Out of Style

Just when you thought Apple Watch was the hit of the year, it seems your favorite wearable may not be as high-tech as once thought. A new lawsuit was filed against American electronics giant Apple and its smartwatch device, alleging it has infringed on a patent held by Fort Wayne-based tech company Fossil Group. The suit claims that Fossil’s smartwatches have copied a design for a wristwatch presented by Apple nearly 20 years ago.

If you have an Apple Watch, there’s a good chance that you’re about to lose access to some features because of this lawsuit.

What are Patent Lawsuits?

Patent lawsuits are disputes between patent owners and alleged infringers who argue that their products or services infringe upon the patent owner’s intellectual property rights.

A patent holder may file a patent lawsuit against an alleged infringer. The defendant can be a manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or service provider. The plaintiff in the case may also seek injunctions against infringing activities under the law.

2 Things You Should Know About the Patent Lawsuit on Apple Watches

Here are two things you need to know about the patent lawsuit against apple:

It’s not the first Time Apple’s Been Sued for Infringement

Apple Watch is not the first Time Apple’s been sued for Infringement.

Nokia sued the company in the U.S., Japan, and Germany over patent infringement in 2011. The lawsuit was settled out of court, with Nokia agreeing to pay Apple $1 billion (U.S.).

In 2012, Apple settled a patent dispute with Samsung over smartphone technology that allowed users to quickly scroll through phone lists and contacts without having to tap on each item individually.

The Lawsuit Could Cost Apple up to $100 million.

According to court documents, Apple’s lawsuit against Fossil Inc. could cost the company up to $100 million.

The technology giant accused Fossil of violating patents related to the design and functionality of its Apple Watch, arguing that it had been selling watches with similar features for years before Apple launched its smartwatch.

Bottom Line

Considering the popularity of Apple and Apple Watch products, it is likely that many companies have submitted patent applications related to developing smartwatches. Apart from a few details regarding the case, we will have to wait until  the case starts.