Patent Update: Use Litigation Funding to Enforce Patents | AIChE

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Patent Update: Use Litigation Funding to Enforce Patents

Patent Update

There used to be a time when an individual inventor might come up with the most brilliant invention and patent it, only to have some unscrupulous company employ that invention without a license. Without a war chest to enforce the patent in litigation, the individual inventor’s patent was, for all practical purposes, worthless.

Some intellectual property (IP) attorneys are willing to take on cases on a contingency fee basis. In a contingency fee case, the attorneys’ fee is satisfied from any award recovered. But even in such cases, the patent owner was still typically required to foot the bill for expenses such as discovery vendors, court reporters for depositions, and expert witnesses. These expenses can be hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. And, not all attorneys are willing to take on contingency fee cases. Patent owners who could not afford to pay attorneys’ fees or other litigation expenses had little recourse but to sit on the sidelines while others practiced their patented inventions without a license.

Although the cost of patent litigation has not decreased, a growing industry of litigation financing companies is now willing to cover some, or even all, of the costs of patent litigation, including attorneys’ fees, for a percentage of...

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