Litigation: Enforcing Patents and Disputing Infringement

Sometimes having a patent is enough of a deterrent to prevent your competitor from copying your product or service. Sometimes that is not the case.

Then we are there to uphold your patent and defend your competitive position. Of course it is also possible that you are accused or foreseen that you will be accused of infringing a patent of another person. Everything about enforcing, defending and disputing the validity of patents can be found below.

Enforcing a patent

You apply for a patent to prevent your invention from being imitated. Although in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe you are not obliged to state on products or on your website that a patent has been applied for (patent pending) or granted (patented), such a statement can constitute an elementary form of protection due to its warning character.

Despite this, there may be times when a competitor markets a product or service that is patented by your company.

As soon as you determine this, we will check whether the product or service found does indeed fall under the scope of protection of your patent and therefore infringes. If so, we agree on what action to take.

This can vary from sending a warning letter to filing a lawsuit. In the latter case, we are assisted by a specialized lawyer from our network.

Disputing infringement

Of course it can also happen the other way around. A competitor believes that you are infringing its patent, or you discover yourself – for example because we monitor that competitor’s patent publications for you – that there is a patent or patent application that may be a nuisance.

If you are accused of infringement, the first question is whether that accusation is correct. We will check that for you. If that is indeed the case, it may be useful to determine whether it is possible to work around the patent in question in order to prevent further or future infringement.

However, in response to the allegation or separately, we may also consider whether it is possible to contest the validity of the competitor’s patent.

Disputing the validity of a competitor’s patent

If a competitor accuses you of patent infringement, it is advisable not only to check whether your product or service is actually covered by the patent in question, but also whether that patent was actually granted correctly. If not, its validity may be contested. Depending on the situation, advice can be requested from the patent center, a lawsuit can be instituted or an opposition procedure initiated.

All of these proceedings can be conducted not only in response to an allegation of infringement, but also proactively. Sometimes to attack is the best defense.

We can also go through such a procedure anonymously in a number of cases, so that it is prevented that the patent holder is unnecessarily drawn to the source of the possible infringement.

We have extensive experience in conducting all these procedures, both in writing and in hearings.