December 28, 2010

Most Patent Infringement Cases Never Go to Trial Says Dan Tychonievich

Although patent cases are fairly common, "well over 90 percent" never go to trial, Dan Tychonievich of Baker & Daniels told the Elkhart Truth in its story, "CTS Wins Round in Patent Lawsuit."

According to documents filed in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Michigan, CTS contends that TK Holdings has been infringing on three of its patents, two of which are for sensors to control airbag deployments in cars, the story reported. The first phase of the litigation has concluded with the court adopting the interpretation given by CTS regarding certain patent claims.

These cases are typically long, complex and costly, and once the court rules on the interpretation of the claims, the two parties usually become motivated to engage in settlement talks, according to the Elkhart Truth story.

Businesses pursuing patent infringement cases can spend more than $1 million to get a judgment, Tychonievich said. Patent infringement cases are not something companies should undertake lightly, he explained, but companies that have valuable intellectual property and have invested significantly in the conception and development have to take steps to protect it.

Also, the "ego factor" gets involved in these cases, Tychonievich told the Elkhart Truth. "Companies don't take too kindly to other companies stealing their ideas," he said.

In addition to safeguarding their products, patent-holding companies that win an infringement case can recover substantial damages, Tychonievich said. They can be entitled to a "reasonable royalty rate" of 3 percent to 5 percent and possibly lost profits.
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