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Intellectual property

patent litigation

If a patent owner believes another person or entity is infringing on their patent, the patent owner can enforce their patent rights by bringing a patent infringement lawsuit. Because patent law is a matter of federal law (as opposed to state law) patent infringement lawsuits must be filed in federal court.

Patent litigation is notoriously expensive for plaintiffs and defendants. For defendants, these high costs mean they may prefer to settle rather than fight patent litigation suits they view as being without merit. This possibility of obtaining a settlement—without the defendant challenging the merits of the case—in turn increases the expected value of frivolous patent litigation, and creates additional incentives for these lawsuits to be filed.

On the other hand, well-financed defendants can outlast entrepreneurs with fewer resources—which may force plaintiffs with valid patent infringement cases to accept settlements that are favorable to the defendants.

Patents and patent litigation are complex areas of law and a potential plaintiff or defendant should consult with an experienced patent lawyer at the first prospect of litigation.

In Texas, as in all states, patent infringement is governed by federal law, since patents are issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and protected under the U.S. Constitution. If a patent owner in Texas believes their patent is being infringed upon, they must file a lawsuit in federal court to enforce their rights. The high costs associated with patent litigation can influence the strategies of both plaintiffs and defendants. Defendants may choose to settle rather than engage in costly legal battles, even when the claims are potentially frivolous. Conversely, plaintiffs with legitimate claims may be pressured into accepting less favorable settlements if they cannot afford prolonged litigation against well-funded defendants. Due to the complexity of patent law, it is crucial for individuals or entities involved in or anticipating patent litigation to seek the advice of an experienced patent attorney to navigate the legal process effectively.

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