Divided patent infringement for a method claim?
My claim is being infringed by "Company A" and "Company B". Company A is responsible for all the infringement. i.e. Company B is not aware it is my IP. But company A is aware of it.
Company A is doing that to hundreds of companies.
Let's say I sue Company A and B. And the court decide both parties as infringers. Can I able to claim damages from Company A for all damages or only damages related to Company B?
i.e. Do I have to sue all 100 companies to collect more damages from Company A.
Or only proving Company A as infringer is enough?
4 attorney answers
You really need to talk with a patent attorney. Divided infringement can be a major problem that could prevent you from asserting your patent. A patent attorney can investigate whether you have a divided infringement problem and/or if one or both companies qualifies as an indirect infringer.
I am not your lawyer. This is not legal advice. I don't guarantee any results.
As correctly pointed out above, you need to retain a patent lawyer. Among issues will be exactly what the claims say, what those words mean and the precise relationship between Companies A and B. If it is truly "divided infringement" then there is direct infringement only if a single legal entity, or its agent (and this is not necessarily an "agent" under contract law) infringes. If some steps are performed by one company and the remainder by a totally independent company, there might be a problem proving infringement. These remarks are only general, however, and require up to date legal research.
This is public information not legal advice. For confidential consultation email [email protected] Please read he whole disclaimer, click More. This answer is written to explain situations which may come up involving intellectual property law issues. It does not give specific legal advice about specific fact situations. If you have a specific fact situation in mind you should ask for professional legal advice about the relevant facts. Seemingly minor changes in facts may change a legal opinion dramatically. Space here does not permit an explanation of all the variables in complex legal areas. Dave Brezina is an Illinois lawyer and his profession is regulated under the authority of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Although he represents clients nationally and internationally, his law practice is performed in Illinois and is not subject to regulation by other states. Dave Brezina is also a Registered Patent Attorney and a patent practice is regulated by the US Patent and Trademark Office a Federal agency and is not subject to regulation by the states. The firm, Ladas & Parry, LLP, has attorneys admitted and offices in at least Illinois, New York and California. Finally, do not post confidential information. There is not an attorney client relationship created simply by correspondence or communication with the author of this site.
Company "A" would be liable if it directs or controls "B"s performance or, where "A" and "B" are considered to be a joint enterprise. You need to consult with a patent attorney to make that determination.
Good answers already given.
There are additional considerations that, once again, will require expert advice from a knowledgeable patent attorney.
For example, do the alleged infringers have knowledge of your patent? Have you properly deployed patent marking strategies or issued notice letters for purposes of willful infringement?
This situation is not likely to be addressed with an in depth analysis from an attorney who has reviewed the specific details of your case.
This answer is not intended to be legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. All information posted is for educational purposes only and may not be applicable to any specific person or situation.