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Archived updates for Friday, April 22, 2005

Proactive I/P Lawyering a Bad Thing?

Maybe, maybe not, say the comments on this article. What are your thoughts on this controversial topic? Are enhanced damages just an excuse for attorneys and their clients to bury their heads in the sand until things get out of control? Why shouldn't purposefully avoiding an examination of your competitors intellectual property rights be the real basis for a finding of wilfull infringement and enhanced damages? After all, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should the law encourage people to hide their heads in the sand and ignore the property rights of others just so they might (or might not) avoid enhanced damages? Sometimes a lawsuit without enhanced damages can still put a company out of business, or at least cause it to discontinue a product line. For more, see http://271patent.blogspot.com/2005/04/proactive-lawyering-bad-thing-bill.html#comments

April 22, 2005 8:14 AM  
Blogger Bill Heinze said...

Maybe the latest patent reform legislative campaign will finally put this problem to rest. Section 6 of the latest "committee print" proposal (http://ip-updates.blogspot.com/2005/04/live-webcast-of-patent-reform-hearing.html) includes the following changes to 35 USC 284:

"Increased damages may not be awarded based merely upon the knowledge of a patent or its contents by the defendant prior to suit."

April 22, 2005 9:32 AM  
Blogger Bill Heinze said...

An informal poll on this question is available at http://ip-updates.blogspot.com/2005/04/blog-post_27.html

Click on the yellow type for the current vote tally

April 27, 2005 5:28 PM  
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