False Patent Marking: Will Your Company be Sued Next?
In 2007, a seemingly random patent attorney sued the Solo Cup Company for over $10 trillion, and he wasn`t totally crazy to try. Solo knowingly marked 21.7 billion products with patent numbers that either didn`t apply to the products or were expired, but wanted to avoid the cost of replacing their molds that had years of life left in them.
The U.S. patent system allows patent owners to exclude others from practicing an invention in exchange for disclosure of the invention to the public. Two statutes ensure that the public has accurate information on the existence of patent rights, the patent marking statute, 35 U.S.C. §287(a), and the false patent marking statute, 35 U.S.C. §292.
Read the entire Corp! article written by Patent attorneys John Nemazi & Robert Tuttle.
Original Publication: Corp! September 2, 2010