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Surprisingly Good Ways Of Stopping Foreign
Imports Using Your US Patent
Michael J Foycik Jr
by Michael J Foycik Jr.
January 9, 2014

The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.

The number one concern of many companies with new products is how to stop foreign copies from entering the US.  The good news, this is easy for US Patent owners, and there are two ways this can operate.

The most surprising way is using the US Customs Service to block suspected infringers.  To do this, you will need an order from the Customs Service.  Once you have that, Customs does the real work.  The catch here is, the US company will have to prove it makes the goods itself in the US.  So, two foreign companies cannot easily avail themselves of this privilege.

Customs can confiscate infringing goods, and may even turn over those goods to the US patent owner.  If specific infringers can be pointed out to Customs, which is often the case, those infringers  can be targeted by Customs.

The second way is more obvious: using the US Patent rights.  There is an easy way to do this, and a harder way.  The easier way is sending a copy of the US Patent to retailers and other companies selling the infringing product; most will quickly deal with the situation, usually by simply removing the infringing products.  After all, retailers do not want trouble, and can avoid it by fleeing from patent disputes.  The author has seen this several times, and it is surprisingly effective. 

The aforementioned harder way is the filing of a patent infringement suit.  This can be cost effective, assuming the infringer offers a quick settlement.  An infringer might do this to avoid the legal expense and legal risk of defending.  However, if the health of an infringing company depends on that infringing product, a quick settlement may still occur but there is also a chance of a big legal fight.

Does owning patents in foreign countries help?  That depends very much on the country involved, and how that country handles infringement.  Most countries enforce patent rights differently, may favor local companies, or may offer low penalties by comparison with the US system.  The US system of patent enforcement is known to be robust. 

Do you need patent infringement advice?  If so, contact the author at the email address below.

            Nothing herein is legal advice, and is not intended as such.  Every situation is different, and a patent attorney should be consulted for legal advice.


The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com, or call at 877-654-3336.
 
 
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