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Challenging or Infringing Another's Business Method Patent

Challenging or Infringing Another's Business Method Patent

To challenge a patent granted for a business method you can either sue in federal court or institute a re-examination per the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

In court, those challenging the patent usually try to prove there was no reason to grant a patent because the process was not unique or it was obvious. A re-examination on the other hand will have the USPTO reconsider the patent in the light of recently uncovered prior art. Re-examination is not as expensive as litigation; however, others will be disinclined to challenge the patent later if a re-examination fails and the patent survives.

Finding out whether another party has infringed on a business method patent will require a close examination of the patent claims—a brief statement in the patent application laying out the scope of the business method. The claim functions as the boundaries of the patent owner's rights.

If the methods are similar enough, the court can still determine there was an infringement even if there is no literal match of your business methods and those of the other party. This is known as the "doctrine of equivalents" meaning if the steps in the patent and the allegedly infringing method are alike enough, a court will find infringement took place.

On the other hand, if you are being accused of violating patented methods or material, you will need to prove the patent is invalid because there is a lack of novelty or non-obviousness. Should you lose the lawsuit they can obtain a court order against you to try and keep you from further infringing on their patent and can even recover financial damages for any lost revenue.

You need the help of a qualified patent attorney if you are being accused of infringement or wish to challenge another party's business method patent. Retain The Brennan Law Firm, LLC for the legal counsel you need at this time.