Patent infringement happens when a person uses the invention of another without the permission of the legal owner of the property. Intellectual property includes things such as books, scientific discoveries and inventions, and works of art such as paintings among others. In case you suspect or have proof that a person has used your intellectual property, the law allows you to file a lawsuit against the individual and get compensation. The least compensation you can get after winning an intellectual property litigation is receiving a reasonable royalty from any financial gains that the person will make. However, it is important to note that you have to win the case before the benefits come. Below are eight things you have to understand about these cases to help you have an easy time when handling similar cases.
1. Treating all the devices of the suspect like a crime scene.
The moment you realize that theft has taken place, the first thing you do is look for possible suspects. In the case of intellectual property, people who are close to you, or those who have access to your data should be the first suspects. Getting evidence that will prove that the individual is responsible for the theft is what will give you success in the case. In case you are not allowed to access property such as laptops and other gadgets regularly used by the suspect, get legal help in getting a subpoena.
2. Be ready to hire a forensic expert.
Intellectual property theft cases are not easy, especially when a patent is to a scientific discovery or something that is not tangible. Confiscate all the gadgets which could harbor evidence, and then hire a forensic expert to look for evidence. The process includes listening to conversations the suspect has had in the past, recovering data they could have deleted to avoid detection, dusting surfaces and objects for fingerprints, going through CCTV camera tapes and related investigations. A dedicated investigator will find the evidence you need.
3. Hiring an intellectual property lawyer will be essential.
Some people believe that they can handle intellectual theft cases alone. While proving that someone stole your patent may seem like a simple process, the process of coming up with credible evidence without infringing on the rights of the other party is not that easy. You need a lawyer to help you identify the correct procedure followed in dealing with the case and avoiding the common pitfalls.
4. Do serious research on the thief.
In most cases, intellectual property theft cases involve patent trolls. These are people who move from one organization to the other, look for individuals who have made inventions and try to copy them and make them their own. The best evidence you can present to court is showing the judge that yours is not the first case of theft the person has been accused of. The lawyer will help you dig deep into the past of the defendant and find evidence that they are a patent troll.
5. Stay Composed throughout the case.
It can be nerve wrecking to think that another person will benefit from the invention you have worked so hard to create. However, being nervous will lead to mistakes that could cost you the case. No matter what happens, never go into underhand methods of resolving the situation like offering to buy back the patent from the troll. Allow the lawyer to handle the case competently, and a solution will be found.
6. Discuss the legal fees beforehand.
There are intellectual theft cases where the lawyer will take their fees from the royalties you are supposed to receive. Such a situation could translate to a lot of money if you aren’t careful. Go over the terms of engagement with the lawyer before they do any work.
7. Avoid making settlements.
The main aim of intellectual property thieves is to get a settlement from you. The moment that you make the mistake of settling, you can be assured that you will be getting more trolls knocking at your doorstep. Go through with the case and let it be a message to all the other trolls.
8. Play hardball in court.
When your chance comes to face the patent troll, ask particular questions regarding your copyright. Avoid dealing with the troll’s attorney in the absence of yours.
When you follow these guidelines, you will have an easy time resolving intellectual property theft cases and getting a favorable settlement.