Patents offer you safeguards, but others enjoy those same standards. You’ll need to make sure your process isn’t overlapping protected ground when you get underway. If a court finds you infringing, the costs can be devastating.
Damages for patent infringement have been on the rise in recent years, with the median amount levied landing in the tens of millions. This means making sure your patent isn’t wandering into someone else’s territory is essential to success, and even unknowingly falling into infringement could cost you big time.
Foot over the line
Patent infringement can be a serious matter, and the costs can be far-reaching. Courts can start with monetary damages that you’ll need to pay in the event of a violation. The two most often awarded types of restitution are royalties that you would have paid through licensing, and profits your competitor lost once you stepped into their space.
Also at risk is anything that’s made it off the production line using patented methods. The courts will usually tell you to stop output, possibly followed by the destruction of any offending goods.
If you are stepping on someone’s toes, then you won’t be able to turn the machines back on without reaching some kind of agreement with the patent holder. If you can’t come to terms, you’ll have to find a way around the patent, including costly changes to your production process.
While the patent system can protect others from stealing your ideas, you’ll need to abide by the same rules. Making sure your process doesn’t enter infringement is crucial and can affect everything from your patent application to eventual production.