St. Louis patent attorneys Matt Cutler and Joe Walsh recently coauthored an article on the St. Louis Business Journal website that details several key strategies for protecting companies from IP lawsuits. As outlined in the article, the following strategies will help build “stronger IP assets that are less vulnerable to attack” and encourage responsible growth of innovative ideas.
1. Better patent claims equals less litigation
No one understands your technology as well as your inventors, which is why they should be in direct communication with your outside patent counsel. This will create stronger claims without any omissions or superfluous information.
2. Proper organization reduces your likelihood of litigation
Organize. Organize. Organize. The faster you can recognize an innovative idea, develop it, and file for patent protection, the more likely you will win a competitive edge in the market. Work out a process now that can turn ideas into patents — and revenue — in the future.
3. Understand the importance of opinions of counsel
Asking outside counsel for “freedom-to-practice” or “freedom-to-operate” opinions can feel like another step in a long process, but ensuring that your new idea doesn’t infringe another company’s already-patented idea can save you major money down the line.
4. Strengthen your trade secret program and avoid litigation
Laws surrounding trade secrets have changed over the years, but there are a few basics you should always keep in mind. First, secrets should stay secret – don’t tell anyone anything they don’t absolutely need to know. Second, take efforts to protect your secrets. Examples include access badges, marking sensitive communications or documents as “confidential,” and using sign-in logs. Third, you can enforce your trade secrets indefinitely as long as you stick to the first two principles above.
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Please note that following these strategies may help your business, but they do not replace the counsel that a qualified intellectual property attorney can provide.
Harness IP welcomes the opportunity to discuss your IP litigation and protection needs. If you have any questions, please email Matt Cutler (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Joe Walsh (email@example.com) for additional information.