Entering into patent litigation – especially a patent infringement lawsuit – will be lengthy and expensive. While a few law firms will take a patent infringement lawsuit on a 100% contingency basis (that is, agree to be paid from the proceeds of the lawsuit), some will require the plaintiff to cover litigation expenses such as research, court reporters, video depositions, filing fees and expert witnesses, and these costs can run into the thousands – even millions – of dollars! Knowing this, the strategy of large corporate defendants in patent infringement lawsuits is to simply wear down the small-guy plaintiff until he runs out of money or he just gives up and abandons his claim!
The Well Funded Patent Owner: If, however, the patent owner is a profitable business with healthy cash flow, the company will often engage a patent litigation law firm and pay them their regular daily or hourly fees and cover all litigation expenses. When the lawsuit is settled − they either reach an out-of-court settlement with the defendant or they win their lawsuit at trial − the total proceeds of the settlement or award belong to the plaintiff.
The Well Funded Patent Infringer: Many patent infringers are large businesses that infringe on a patented invention in the manufacture of the product or services they produce and sell. Some infringe unknowingly or unintentionally, while others knowingly infringe a patented invention because they believe they can get away with it. They also know that if they are caught, and if the patent owner is assertive enough to launch a patent infringement lawsuit, the worst that can happen is they have to pay for the use of the infringed patent. Well funded patent infringer defendants can afford world-class legal representation, they can hire the best expert witnesses, and they can easily defeat or simply wear out the unprepared and under-financed patent owner plaintiff!
The Under-Funded Patent Infringement Plaintiff: There is justice for the patent owner whose patent has been infringed, but who cannot afford to pay tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars to finance a successful patent infringement lawsuit. There are patent litigators who will take patent infringement lawsuits on a contingency basis, similar to how personal injury attorneys represent auto accident and medical malpractice plaintiffs. However, some patent litigators will only accept their fees on a contingency basis. That is, they will agree to be paid a percentage of the final award or settlement instead of a fixed fee or daily or hourly rate to represent the patent owner, but the plaintiff will have to cover all litigation expenses. These expenses can be substantial.
Good News for Plaintiffs: For the patent owner with limited resources, there are Patent Enforcement Firms that will represent the patent owner on a totally contingent basis. The Patent Enforcement Company covers all litigation expenses. The firm locates and engages a law firm to try the case, helps locate and pays for expert witnesses and other services, and directs the overall management of the patent infringement lawsuit. Both the patent enforcement firm and the law firm are paid from the proceeds of any award or out-of-court settlement, For patent owners who can find a patent enforcement firm to represent them, it is the ideal arrangement and the surest way to secure justice and compensation for the infringement of their intellectual property.