The patent licensing process typically (but not always) begins after a patent is obtained from the Patent Office. This process requires counsel to work with the inventor and specialized experts to identify the likely infringers or parties interested in acquiring the patent, and then, to communicate with those entities to determine whether an amicable business resolution can be reached. However, most major corporations receive hundreds, if not thousands, of such letters each year. Many of those inquiries have little merit. Moreover, large corporations only rarely agree to pay a license fee without litigation. Thus, it is common for clients to receive summary dismissals of such licensing inquiries. In order to be taken seriously in a licensing matter, a client must be represented by counsel that has high credibility and a track record of addressing issues in good faith and resolving disputes. Perhaps most importantly, the counsel must have the proven litigation skills to “back up” the inquiry with force if necessary. Key in the licensing process is the ability to work in good faith with opposing counsel to devise a creative solution to a business issue.
For more information about the firm’s licensing practice, please contact us.
If an amicable licensing resolution is not possible, litigation may be necessary. The litigation process requires an aggressive lawyer with expert verbal and writing skills, and the determination to work long, hard hours, sometimes for several months at a time. Complex issues need to be simplified and explained to judges and juries, successful theories of the case must be developed, and numerous defenses overcome. The client must be represented by a determined and creative leader.
For more information about the firm’s litigation practice, please contact us.