Hi, everyone! I’m J.D. Houvener, and welcome to the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, or business owner, get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. Today, we’re delving into litigation, and I’ve put together a 10-part series all about patent litigation. Litigation, a term some might find lengthy, essentially means going to court, standing up for the rights you’ve invested in.
As a starting point for litigation, we must have a fully granted patent. This discussion isn’t about the patent application process; it’s about what happens afterward. Once the USPTO grants a patent in your name, as the inventor, you can now enforce your rights, and that’s the essence of litigation.
In today’s discussion, the first step in the process is addressing the court’s requirement for you to identify the chain of title. For individual inventors, this is relatively straightforward, given their inherent right as the inventor to own, make, use, sell, and import the invention. However, for companies and entities, it’s more complex. Large companies like Microsoft or Amazon often have employees who invent, and while the employees are the inventors, the title owner of the patent is the company.
To bring suit against an infringer, the company must prove a valid assignment from the inventor, typically a contractual agreement. Interestingly, the Patent Office mandates that a patent assignment be recorded, similar to how real estate must be recorded with the county. You can check the recorded assignments at the USPTO’s website (uspto.gov/assignments). That’s it for today. We’ll be exploring all aspects of litigation in the next nine sessions. Hope you have a wonderful day. Go big, go bold!