As an inventor, you want to do everything in your power to protect your product. You likely have it patented, but that doesn’t always mean everyone will stay away. What should you do when you realize someone has been using your patented design?
Calling the company or individual who is using your design isn’t going to do any good. Most likely, you’ll get all worked up and could end up causing more problems than you’re already dealing with. Stay calm and avoid getting into any altercations with the person or entity ripping you off. Don’t call anyone associated with the scam, don’t post it in the newspaper and don’t do anything you’ll regret later.
Call Your Attorney
Not every stolen patent design is going to benefit from filing a lawsuit against the guilty party, though some will. If you’re wondering whether your situation would qualify for a lawsuit, it might be best to get in touch with a business litigation lawyer like one from Eric Siegel Law. Your attorney can explain when it would be beneficial and when it would be disadvantageous. For example:
- A Beneficial Situation – If having your patent design stolen and used is resulting in millions of dollars of loss for you and your company, it would most likely be beneficial to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Perhaps a large chain company used your design and is making millions off of it. You might have a case.
- A Disadvantageous Situation – If you and a competing mom-and-pop shop across town have similar products, and you recently found out the other shop has stolen one of your patented designs, you might immediately want to sue the company. If you only have $20,000 or $30,000 to gain from suing that company, realize you could end up with a million dollars in legal expenses, so it might be disadvantageous to sue.
Send a Letter
With the help of your attorney, you should send a letter to the person or company that is using your patented design. While you might not truly want to end up in court, you need to sound like you are seriously considering it so the unlawful use of your product will cease. There is certain language that needs to be used in the letter so the infringer can’t take you to court prematurely, and that is one main reason why you need your lawyer involved in this process.
Regardless of the route you take against someone who is using your patented design, it could benefit you to hire a professional. Contact a business litigation lawyer today to get started.