Being hit with a patent infringement lawsuit can be costly and time-consuming, which is why it is important as a Largo area inventor, small-business owner, or entrepreneur to know how to avoid infringement and protect himself.
Many companies make the mistake of assuming they know enough about the industry to move forward with an idea without researching to see if related-ideas already exist on the market. Instead, attorneys recommend that you follow these tips to avoid lawsuits.
The best way to avoid a lawsuit is to identify potential issues early on. An online search related to your idea can show you similar concepts on the market. There are a number of specialized search engines that can direct you to the best information for you and your concept.
Don’t Forget the Preliminary Patent Infringement Search
Before you contact a Largo attorney, perform a preliminary patent infringement search. This will determine a few things:
- Are terms expired? Once you’ve located applicable patents, you should then look at the terms. If the term is expired, you may be able to move forward with your idea without problems, pending the advice of an experienced attorney.
- Are the maintenance fees paid? If you are looking into utility patents and find an unexpired patent, you should then check to see if maintenance fees have been paid. If the fees have not been paid, it is no longer valid and won’t be a problem for your concept moving forward.
- What are the claims? Just because a competing filing has not expired, does not mean it is necessarily the end for your idea. Depending on how the competing idea has been filed, you may not be infringing. It is best to consult with a patent infringement attorney in Largo to be sure.
If you’ve completed a thorough investigation on your own, but you still feel there may be some potential issues in filing your concept, contact your local Largo patent infringement and trademark attorneys at Larson & Larson.
Larson & Larson offer a range of services, including writing patent applications, filing applications, and responding to patent office objections.
Call now at (727) 546-0660 to learn more about how our skilled attorneys can help you avoid legal troubles.