Responding to Patent Demand Letters
Have you received a letter accusing you of patent infringement? Are you wondering what to do now? This guide explains what the letter means and provides helpful tips to understand your situation.
Have You Been Sued?Many people assume that the letter means they have been sued for patent infringement. Chances are this is not the case. Unless the letter specifically says that a lawsuit has been filed, it is most likely that you have not been sued. In fact, the letter is usually an attempt to reach a settlement before a lawsuit is filed.
Demand Letters vs. Notice LettersGenerally, there are two kinds of patent infringement letters: demand letters and notice letters. A demand letter is intended to scare you into believing that you need to immediately agree to pay a licensing fee to avoid litigation. A notice letter, on the other hand, is intended to put you on notice that you are infringing a patent and to begin a discussion. The two types of letters deserve very different responses, and patent infringement lawyer can help you decide how to respond.
How to Identify a Demand Letter?There are a number of signs that the letter is a "demand" letter. Does it threaten legal action? Does it demand a payment? Does it include an unreasonable time for response? If the letter is threatening and seems intended to scare you, it is probably a demand letter.
How Should You Respond?If you have received a letter accusing you of patent infringement, it may mean that you will be sued if you do not take action. In other cases, you won't be sued regardless of what you do. The best way to figure out how to respond is to consult with a patent infringement lawyer. Many lawyers will offer flat-fee review of letters to provide you with peace of mind.