Enforcing your Intellectual Property rights
You have protected your innovation by means of a patent or design registration. Even though those rights can be found in public databases it does not necessarily mean that your competitors are aware of them. As a result other companies may, unintentionally, be planning or carrying out commercial activities that infringe your rights.
You can make the outside world aware in all kinds of ways that your innovation is protected by certain rights. If you manage to get your competitors to respect those rights by doing so, you will have particularly effective protection. Sometimes it is nevertheless essential to take active steps to ensure that you stay ahead of the competition and protect your rights.
If you suspect your innovation is being copied, it is advisable to call the infringer to account. You can already do this if you suspect that party is planning to do so. No matter how simple this might sound, it is important to handle this with care. On the one hand to ensure that the matter is concluded in the way you have in mind and on the other because falsely accusing someone of infringing can have financial consequences for you.
This is what EP&C can do for you
To find out if someone is infringing, we first of all gather evidence. Next we take a look at the following aspects:
- What exactly has been copied? Does it involve an exact copy or are there any differences? How important are those differences?
- What rights and protection do you have? Have you protected your product? With which rights and scope of protection
- In which country is the infringement situation taking place?
- Who is the copycat, why is he copying and why is this possibly being allowed after all?
- What possible action can you take against the copycat?
Point out your rights to the infringer
If, on the basis of the analysis, we conclude that infringement is taking place, the first step involves compiling a letter to the infringer. We prefer to do this together with you to achieve the right mixture of your business angle and the legal framework.
Lawyer specialised in Intellectual Property
In certain situations the legal framework is more complex, for example when a collaboration fails or when a licence agreement comes to an end. We decide in each situation if, in addition to our own expertise, the knowledge and experience of a lawyer specialised in Intellectual Property is also required. EP&C maintains solid relationships with experienced legal specialists both at home and abroad. For each individual case, we will set up an effective team to defend your interests.
If you are unable to come to an agreement with the other party, you can opt to send them a summons. It goes without saying that this is a step we would take in cooperation with an IP lawyer. You then summon the other party to appear in court and start preliminary relief proceedings or substantive proceedings. A summons increases the pressure and often leads to the negotiations, which are needed to reach an agreement, taking place after all.
It takes time, effort and money to take the matter to court. In fact the courts only decide on a small percentage of all infringements. In the majority of cases a settlement is reached before things get that far. The infringing party will take the goods off the market, a licence agreement is concluded, or a mutual exchange of licences takes places. The infringer may pay damages if you have suffered a financial loss.
The costs involved in investigating and tackling the infringement will be based on the hourly fee charged by the patent attorney in question.