Patents

Anyone ever used Unified Patents to protect from Troll activity?

Stan Zhekov CEO, Reverd.com

September 3rd, 2016

I wonder if a membership / registration with Unified Patents in order to protect from Troll activity is worth it. https://www.unifiedpatents.com/
Any experience or suggestions are appreciated.

Alexander de Geofroy

September 3rd, 2016

This sounds like a thinly veiled advertisement for the company in question...

Paul Garcia President at TABLE

September 14th, 2016

What leads you not to worry about patent trolls is to do proper research on your idea before launching. If you infringe, it doesn't matter whether the patent holder is a non-practicing entity or an active company. It's your fault for not recognizing the public notice that a patent creates. It's similar for trademarks. The point of filing is to put others on notice. It's your obligation coming in later to know whether you are stepping on intellectual property, and in this case it is also the patent holder's duty to enforce any protections they were awarded.

Like any lawsuit, the litigant pursues the people with money first. But, patent protection by statute REQUIRES a vigorous defense. Small or big, the patent holder cannot ignore infringement or they can lose their protection entirely. Most infringement cases are settled by an offer of a license, long before it goes to court. And yes, that system can be abused, but it never gets to this stage if the newer company does their research first.

In this context, a company like Unified Patents has no need to exist, except that so many companies did not plan ahead and do the right research. A lack of planning is the thing that leads to infringement. In advance, if there is any question, you can purchase a legal opinion of whether infringement exists. This indemnifies you to proceed, and puts the law firm issuing the opinion on the block if the position is disputed. Reminding you, I am not an attorney, so my opinion is not a legal opinion.

Business owners should be more friendly with one another. An amicable conversation with another business to make sure you can co-exist without antagonizing one another or some piece of intellectual property, can go a long way to waive off any future suit. It can be done with patents, trademarks, territories, or pretty much anything you decide to agree to. These neighborly agreements can save a lot of heartache that you might otherwise risk had you not planned ahead and just been respectful enough to talk.


Paul Garcia President at TABLE

September 14th, 2016

Stan, I can't give you legal advice about what to do. Typically if you were applying for international protection, you would have needed to start there, it can't generally be added later. Domestic protection would likely keep a European company from practicing in the USA. There is no option not to pursue some action if you are aware of infringement. You must defend your patent. Consult with an actual IP attorney to get a real opinion about what options make sense for you in your current position. Unfortunately patents can cost a significant amount of maintenance money and that's likely going to always be part of your budget. There are many rules about the date on which you became aware of the other companies, as well the date any company invented a same product. An IP attorney can advise you on the specifics, and best not to discuss any of this publicly as it will be part of the record. I suggest you immediately delete any discussion you may have started about the specifics of your circumstances.

Stan Zhekov CEO, Reverd.com

September 14th, 2016

Thank you for the thoughts Paul.

Stan Zhekov CEO, Reverd.com

September 14th, 2016

I've got the picture and revised as appropriate. Please follow as needed...

Adoram Shemesh

September 6th, 2016

Stan,

Patent trolls does exist if this is your question. They are generally less likely to target smaller startups and are usually going after bigger companies with higher revenues. Unified Patents, among others, are offering tools to deal with this threat.

Denny Adams

November 22nd, 2016

http://www.wsj.com/articles/americas-biggest-filer-of-patent-suits-wants-you-to-know-it-invented-shipping-notification-1477582521

If it was only as easy as doing some research!