Patent disputes are increasing, according to recent information gathered by Unified Patents, an organization that works to reduce patent abuse.
According to the data, nearly 900 district court lawsuits relating to patents were filed in the second quarter of 2019.
Patent fights tend to increase when the economy experiences a slowdown. New areas of patents, such as new smartphone-related technology, new cannabis products and new products in the life sciences space, may be behind an uptick in filings.
A bill recently reintroduced in the Senate, known as the Support Technology and Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience Patents Act of 2019, aims to prevent patent infringement.
Other proposed federal legislation could make it easier for patent owners to protect their copyrights. The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019, known as the CASE Act, would make it possible for copyright holders to obtain compensation for infringed works through a small-claims process. A copyright holder could recover up to $15,000 per work.
Under current law, it can be cost-prohibitive for a copyright holder to pursue a claim in federal court, because the legal costs can be greater than the judgment.
Businesses should engage an attorney to determine whether a dispute is worth fighting.