IP Litigation
Kalamazoo - Intellectual Property Litigation Law

 

Michael A. Hettinger

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With competent, knowledgeable representation, corporations and individuals can be held financially liable for the unauthorized use of a patented design, production process, product, trademark or copyright. We assert the rights and interests of inventors, universities, corporations, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and others who have suffered financial harm due to intellectual property infringement. Michael Hettinger is an experienced litigator and has a very strong science and biomedical background. Gary Gabry has represented individuals, corporations and government agencies in over two hundred jury trials. We have an extensive network of consultants in engineering, chemistry, bio-technology, medicine, and other fields when reviewing prior art issues, the uniqueness of a design, and existing patents. In many cases, negotiation or arbitration can settle a dispute. However, litigation may be warranted when a company’s competitive edge is at stake. We have the experience and technical sophistication needed to protect your financial and legal interests.

Patent Litigation

Companies who are guilty of patent infringement typically argue that they are entitled to utilize the subject intellectual property. They frequently put forth one of the following arguments:

  • Arguing a patent is expired
  • Claiming the technology or process used does not warrant a patent due to its being “obvious” or “common knowledge”
  • A manufacturer denies using patented procedures or technology in the making of a product
  • A manufacturer claims to have a valid license to use a patent
  • A manufacturer accused of patent infringement claims that the owner of the patent has actually infringed upon the manufacturer’s rights under a licensing agreement
  • A company or manufacturer claims the patent in question is not enforceable in the geographical location where its products are being made

In many cases, they believe that they have a good faith basis for doing so and only through the process of litigation will they be convinced otherwise. In other cases, they are doing so with the belief that the rightful owner of the property will not be willing to invest the time and money involved in enforcing intellectual property rights.

International Patents and Priority Dates

Litigating patent infringement at the international level can be complicated by the way priority dates are set under the terms of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Under international law, the filing date for a US patent can be used to establish the priority date for an international patent if the international patent is applied for within a year of the US patent. Under the terms of the (PCT), patents filed for in one member country should be recognized and honored in other member countries.

Our attorneys understand how to address disputes regarding the setting of priority dates and enforcement obligations for member countries under the PCT. We have the scientific sophistication needed to address issues related to provisional patents and any inventions that arise from them that may be targeted for piracy or infringement in the international marketplace.

Patent Litigation Attorneys

Our attorneys have the knowledge and resources needed to keep your company at the cutting edge, securely positioned within the global marketplace. To schedule an appointment and learn how we can help you, contact our patent litigation attorneys.

Trademarks are a key component in brand recognition and product marketing. Disputes regarding prior use, infringement, and different markets can compromise marketing strategies and interfere with how a company positions itself in the marketplace. In order to minimize confusion and maintain trademark rights, trademarks are registered and enforced both internationally and domestically through a database. By comparing how a trademark is designed, when it was registered, and the goods it was meant to cover, it’s possible to determine if an unregistered trademark infringes upon it.

Our trademark attorneys assert and protect our client’s trademark rights through litigation. We usually start with a cease and desist demand letter. We represent clients both domestically and internationally and have the resources needed to conduct trademark searches throughout the United States and abroad.

Protecting and asserting trademark rights is important for protecting your company’s products and reputation. To schedule an appointment and discuss your case, contact one of our intellectual property litigation attorneys.

Grounds for Trademark Litigation

We represent clients in regard to the following issues as they pertain to grounds for trademark litigation:

  • Abandonment
  • Incontestability
  • Concurrent registration
  • Disputes over prior use
  • Senior registrant rights against pre-registration user
  • Disputes regarding second users and constructive notice
  • Secondary meaning and descriptiveness
  • Similarity of goods or services
  • Similarity of marks

Domestic Registration of Trademarks

Trademark registration is state specific.Trademark infringement often occurs when an incomplete trademark review or search fails to uncover an existing trademark in another state. Litigation may be necessary when disputes arise regarding the markets involved, allegations claiming trademark abandonment, or similarity in design. Adding to these difficulties is the Lanham Act and how certain trademark rights are construed under it. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience needed to sort through what can be complicated, technical issues and ensure your trademark rights are enforced.