What an IP Right is good for
Every company can find itself in the position of being infringed or of infringing.
Your IP right is infringed
A granted IP right provides its owner with the right to prohibit third parties from using the subject matter protected by the IP right, be it a technical invention, a trademark or a design. If the IP right is ignored and infringed by third parties, it is natural that the owner of the IP right will not tolerate this violation of the exclusive right. The owner will try to stop the infringer, be it through legal proceedings or negotiations.
A plurality of complex issues has to be addressed and considered before approaching a potential infringer. Initially, it has to be analyzed if the actions of the potential infringer do indeed infringe the IP right in question with a reasonable likelihood. To answer this question, the scope of protection of the IP right has to be determined in consideration of the current jurisdiction, and if the accused device or process falls within the scope of protection of the IP right. Further, several questions of procedural nature have to be addressed. Shall the warning letter be sent to the potential infringer? Is it a reasonable option to try to secure a preliminary injunction? What is the cost risk for the client? What then should you seek? Etc.
As patent attorney I have participated in a plurality of patent and trademark infringement cases such that I am in a position to give full advice to my clients in case of infringement actions.
In infringement proceedings, in Germany, the patent attorney typically works together with a litigator, who is an attorney at law specialized in IP and who represents the client before the court. I am well connected and have worked with a plurality of highly specialized IP litigators such as that strong team can be formed as the need arises.
You infringe the IP right of another
In view of the very high number of existing IP rights, every company potentially runs the danger of infringing the IP rights of others. In Germany, good faith is no excuse in an infringement proceeding. If the company has received a warning letter or complaint because of alleged infringement of an IP right, a swift reaction is quintessential. A plurality of questions has to be addressed. What are the chances that a court will find infringement of the IP right? What arguments are available that there is no infringement? How strong is the IP right and what are the chances that it may be revoked in an opposition or nullity proceeding? What is the cost risk for the alleged infringer? Would it be wise to seek a license?
These are just some of the questions with which a company is confronted if the owner of an IP right raises in infringement claim. I will be happy to provide you with my advice.