When patents make the news, it is often an issue involving patent infringement. The government grants so many patents each year that individual patents almost never make the news, even when a business sends out press releases.
Despite the efforts inventors and businesses invest in the patent prosecution process, there are always bad players who will help violate someone’s intellectual property rights for profit. When you discover a violation of your rights, you may need to pursue intellectual property litigation to enforce your patent.
Court won’t always resolve a patent dispute
If you discover that a competing business has duplicated your patented production process or stolen a patented design, you may need to take them to court. While you wait to present your case in front of a judge, it may be possible to settle with the other party, possibly by negotiating a licensing agreement.
Licensing agreements are how big businesses handle patent disputes. Few companies are as influential as the biggest players in the tech sector. Ericsson, a Swedish telecoms company, holds numerous valuable patents. Apple is also a power player in the tech field.
These two companies have butted heads previously when Apple refused to renew a licensing agreement for the use of Ericsson patents. What followed was a multi-year dispute involving multiple different legal filings. However, after lengthy negotiations, these two tech sector power players finally reached an agreement. Negotiations succeeded where litigation had previously failed.
Apple signed a licensing agreement that will compensate Ericcson to the tune of millions of dollars for the use of various patents. This case is an example for businesses of any size dealing with patent infringement.
Licensing agreements are mutually beneficial
The other party may worry that they cannot continue operating a profitable business without utilizing the concepts your business patented. If that is the case, then you may be able to arrange for them to pay for the right to use your patented ideas. Such an arrangement will potentially work well for both companies.
Settling isn’t always necessary or possible. If the other party won’t offer a reasonable amount of compensation for the use of your intellectual property or if they do not acknowledge the damage their ongoing violations have cost for your company, then you may have no choice but to go to court. Reviewing your company’s patent and the product or production processes that you believe violate your patent can help you determine the best options in your situation.