If you're not an inventor, business entrepreneur interested in new ideas and processes, a licensing technology principal or other person interested in intellectual property matters, you have likely never hear of something called Inter Partes review.
If you qualify for membership in that group, though, you are undoubtedly keenly aware -- and perhaps dreadfully worried -- with what is more typically referred to within the world of intellectual property (especially patents) as IPR proceedings.
Imagine for a moment that you are an inventor with -- don't be modest -- a singular skill set and genius who has invested considerable time, money and sweat equity in a new creation for which you filed and received a patent.
And then you are made aware that your legal rights concerning your creation are being subjected to a post-grant challenge from a third party.
As is made eminently clear in a recent media article highlighting a discussion with a long-time IP and technology transfer guru from a major university, patents are becoming increasingly challenged for spurious reasons, which has a manifestly detrimental effect on important creations.
Reportedly, many post-grant challenges are made merely to threaten a patent owner, with the aim being to negotiate a lower license agreement cost.
And that often works, given that an owner of even a bullet-proof patent might be forced to spend a million dollars or more just to defend it.
Another fear that the above-cited article states is "gripping the industry" stems from companies targeted for takeovers that are being first devalued by threats of challenges to their patents. Alternatively, some parties threaten creators with an IPR proceeding, the intent being to bleed the patent owner economically unless a payment is made.
These are obviously bad-faith tactics that can -- and do -- hurt patent owners tremendously. Creators of intellectual property can scarcely afford to stand by idly while their life's work is being challenged by actors who seek to profit in unethical ways.
A patent owner with questions or concerns regarding any intellectual property-related matter can obtain candid advice and aggressive legal representation from a proven patent protection attorney.