A patent gives its owner the legal right to prevent unauthorised use of the protected technology. Without permission from the owner (eg by means of a license), certain acts involving the protected technology will make the person carrying out those acts liable for patent infringement.
Patent owners can enforce their rights by commencing court proceedings for patent infringement, and seeking damages and/or an injunction. As a counterclaim to infringement proceedings, or indeed as a claim in itself, a user of technology may issue proceedings to have a patent revoked by the court.
IP disputes may also relate to licenses and terms of licenses, transfers, entitlement (ownership of rights), inventors and compensation, etc.
Patent litigation is a complex area of law involving difficult legal and technical issues. Disclosure, expert evidence and experiments are standard features in patent litigation cases, and may be accompanied by a number of interim applications relating to specific procedural steps. Proceedings before the UK High Court generally take about 1 year or a little less before the IP Enterprise Court. Appeals on first instance decisions focus on smaller areas in the dispute and are usually much quicker.
We have enormous experience in IP litigation and arbitration, having worked on numerous cases before the High Court and the ICC, working for both claimants and defendants. These include:
Patents are territorial rights, meaning that disputes are handled before national courts. However, multijurisdictional cases are common in patent litigation. We at Angel IP have extensive experience of parallel proceedings and have worked closely with colleagues in USA, Germany, Netherlands, France and Poland.
In addition we have worked on several oppositions before the EPO. Unusually (among UK lawyers) we have also have direct experience as previous members of the EPO’s Opposition Division.