Monday, November 28, 2005

Small companies need to worry about patent issues

Remember Albie's, the small Michigan business that was sued over the "peanut butter and jelly" patent? From Derek Stettner:

You or your company may have no patents and, generally, little perceived need to be concerned with patent matters. However, there is a growing group of entities that consider enforcing patents to be a main or significant source of revenue. As a consequence, more and more businesses have to be concerned with patent matters.

One enforcement technique is to send licensing letters or to file lawsuits against end users and resellers of an allegedly covered product or service. Sometimes the first parties to receive such letters or complaints are companies that either cannot or do not wish to defend a patent lawsuit. Furthermore, those companies may not wish to risk having any kind of injunction issued against them. Thus, they will generally settle any claim or take a license as quickly as possible.


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