Tod R. Nissle, PC
MINIMIZING THE RISK OF LITIGATION.
Opinions can, and do, vary with respect to approaches that can be taken to minimize the risk of litigation. Consequently, the following opinions are provided, not as fixed rules, but for possible consideration by individuals who are beginning a business or are already involved in a business.
1. In many cases, the only parties who really "win" in litigation are the attorneys.
2. In many cases, partnerships do not last. It is sometimes better for an inventor to retain control of his business and allow others to invest, but not to allow investors to have the authority to make final business decisions.
3. If a product has significant market value, then in the long run it is likely that "knock offs" will appear in the market, and that such knock-offs will infringe a client's patent. If, however, a client can be first to market and achieve relatively wide distribution (something which can, of course, be difficult to do), then when the knock-offs come the client has a better chance of surviving in the market because the client may well have achieved name recognition, be able to manufacture the product at a reduced cost, and be able to compete and profit without having to engage in litigation against an infringer.
4. Consider not going to large trade shows unless you are ready to sell and distribute your product, hopefully nationwide. Unscrupulous competitors may well be at trade shows ready to copy and sell new inventions.
5. Inventors often have invested considerable effort in designing an invention, but not so with marketing. Marketing can be "the other half" of the story and is equally important as the invention itself.
6. Inventors often believe they can successfully market an invention by licensing the invention to a company and by then receiving royalty checks from the company. This approach, if successful, makes life easy because the inventor can sit back and collect royalty checks. In practice, however, licensing an invention without first establishing a track record of sales in the market appears to be a difficult proposition.
PHOTOGRAPH ATTRIBUTION: "Hoodoo Towers" by Jon Sullivan. Thank you public-domain-photos.com.