A Case Of Intellectual Theft?

Know if your patent-infringement suit stands a chance in court.

Before you rush off to find a law firm willing to take your patent infringement case on a contingent fee basis, make sure you have a case worth pursuing. "Contingent fee litigation weeds out frivolous lawsuits, because a case has to be good enough for a law firm to take, since they heavily invest their manpower on it," says Meg Boulware of the American Intellectual Property Law Association.

Take a look at attorney Joe Hosteny's checklist to see whether you have a "winnable" contingent fee case:

  • The infringing party has used your product for a long time and intends to use it in the future.
  • The infringing party has the ability to pay damages.
  • Your patent and its file history show no obvious problems.
  • The subject matter is fairly simple, and therefore easy to explain to a jury.

For more information, go to Hosteny's Web site at http://www.hosteny.com.