What is a hi tech lawsuit? We have all heard of these cases over the years where some corporation or government agency has been accused of doing something illegal, or defaming a government department. There are always lawyers involved in these lawsuits, which require a lot of work, and expensive fees. The problem with these lawsuits is they usually end up in court without a settlement, and the defendants (the ones who sue) do not have to pay any legal fees, or court costs, and the plaintiff (the one sued) ends up with nothing. This scenario sounds unfair, doesn’t it? How can this be, when the “tech” part of the word suggests something that is new and cutting edge, and therefore needs to be cutting edge.
Hi, Tech Lawsuit
Well in one sense, it is unfair that people cannot sue big corporations, or government agencies, for the offenses of the individuals who run them. But on another level, the lawyers who sue, or the companies who do the suing, really just need to come up with new ways to fight their battles, and get their lawsuits resolved in court.
Sometimes new technologies allow these lawsuits to proceed, because if the defendant simply accepts the court’s resolution, then they lose the case, and there is nothing that they can really do about it. It’s pretty simple, and yet it happens all the time, and we don’t even discuss it.
But how about in other situations?
For instance, let’s say a company develops a new technology, or innovation, that can completely change how people do business in the world. They patent it and then offer it to the public, for a royalty. The cost of developing this new technology could be enormous, and so the company would need to sue to gain an equitable settlement in the marketplace.
However, what if the company develops that same technology, but puts that new one into production, and brings it into the hands of the consumer market?
Now they no longer need to sue, because now they have a product! But this new product might have some strange side effects, so the company goes back to the patent office and seeks permission to use the term” HI-Tech,” rather than “cutting edge.” So that’s one of the new hi-tech terms that has been coined recently, and it’s starting to hit the markets.
So now you’ve got one of these hi-tech terms, and you know that there is a lot of money to be made in this area.
So a company comes up with another term and another, until there is no more money being paid out in royalty fees. Suddenly, it is a lawsuit that has nothing to do with the technology, but is being brought on behalf of the patent infringement party, who really never had a problem with the prior technologies. The fact is, as stated above, these lawsuits are frivolous most of the time, because the person filing the suit really didn’t create the technology in question in the first place.
There is often nothing to show that the prior infringer actually knew of the prior art or knew of the market penetration needed to make their invention work. And because the plaintiff is trying to win with what they think is a valid patent, it’s really easy to blow them off in court as a bunch of greedy patent lawyers out to make money off of innocent people.
So the advice would be to keep your patent filing deadlines and research expenses low, and save the money for later.
If you’re not an engineering major, or just don’t understand the whole patent filing process, let a patent attorney or an intellectual property specialist do it for you. If you’re up to it, you can also look into small business IP companies that buy patents for a low cost and then license them out to those who need them without spending a dime on the research costs involved in finding the prior art. And if you get lucky, these prior art auctions can even save you money on the patent registration itself, which is yet another hi tech lawsuit scenario.