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Patents-the suit against future infringement

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1 Author(s)
M. M. Klee ; Fairfield, CT, USA

Can a patent owner sue a competitor who is about to bring out an infringing product? That was the question before the court in the recent case of Interdigital Technology Corp. v. OKI America Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. The case involved the burgeoning field of cellular telephones. Interdigital owned patents which it believed gave it control of all cellular telephones that would satisfy two of the industry-wide standards set by the Telecommunications Industry Association. The Interdigital case shows that a patent owner need not stand idly by while a competitor makes plans to enter the market. If the patent owner can show that the competitor has made meaningful preparations to enter the market and intends to go forward in spite of the patent owner's protest, a court will hear the issue immediately. This action can significantly shorten the time to an ultimate judgment and injunction against the competitor's activities. Moreover, in the meantime, the fact that a lawsuit is pending can substantially handicap a competitor in the market because many customers may not want to deal with a supplier that may be put out of business in the future

Published in:

IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 2 )