Bona-fide and prospering businesses in Texas and elsewhere do not become successful by chance. Rather, their principals work hard and thoughtfully. Through sweat equity, careful maneuvering, perseverance and finding the right niche in their industry, they gain traction, add workers, refine products and forge ahead.
In doing so, they constantly assess and respond to risk. Threats come from sudden resource scarcities, recessionary business climates, local and foreign competitors and rising insurance rates.
Increasingly, too, notes an article on escalating patent litigation, they come from so-called "patent trolls."
Even readers unfamiliar with that term might be able to accurately gauge its meaning. The cited article denotes such entities as business actors "that own patents but do not make products or sell services based on them."
Indeed, some trolls actively search out and buy expiring patent rights for the sole reason of subsequently sending out threatening demand letters for payment to small businesses. Trolls -- also referred to as patent-assertion entities -- additionally commence litigation against businesses without having any intent to engage in business themselves.
The referenced article argues that, while it is certainly logical and meritorious for a business to file an infringement claim when a rival has misappropriated proprietary and protected technology, it is an entirely different matter when a lawsuit is merely abusive. That certainly seems to be the case when, as the article notes, lawsuits "are largely independent of the value of the technology in the patent."
Good-faith businesses must respond to such litigation, and spend a considerable amount of time and effort doing so.
And money, too. According to one recent university study, more than $29 billion is spent in a given year by companies defending themselves against patent lawsuits.
With that amount on the line, it can pay -- in quite literal terms -- to enlist the services of a proven patent attorney with strong experience in intellectual property-related litigation matters.