Patent infringement occurs when an individual or company uses a patented invention without the permission of the patent holder. This can lead to costly legal battles and damage to a company’s reputation.

Who Can Sue?

Once a patent is granted, the patent owner has the right to sue those who infringe on the patent in a court of law to stop the infringement and receive monetary compensation. A patent gives its owner the right to stop others from making, using, or selling the invention in that country while the patent is in force.

One high-profile example of patent infringement in Seattle occurred in 2015 when technology giant Microsoft was sued by Canadian company i4i for infringing on a patent related to custom XML in its popular word-processing software, Word. After a lengthy legal battle, Microsoft was ordered to pay $290 million in damages to i4i.

In addition to large companies, individual inventors and small businesses can also be impacted by the patent infringement. Inventors spend significant time and resources developing their ideas, and a patent provides them with legal protection for their inventions. If someone else uses their patented idea without permission, it can be detrimental to the growth of their businesses.

Other Options

Patent infringement can also happen accidentally when a company is unaware that it is using a patented invention. In these cases, the patent holder may seek a licensing agreement rather than file a lawsuit. However, this might also be a highly complex procedure, especially when involved parties cannot agree on all terms.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is responsible for issuing and enforcing patents. If someone believes their patent has been infringed upon, they can file a complaint with the USPTO. The agency will then investigate the claim and determine whether infringement has occurred. If it is found that infringement has occurred, the USPTO can issue a cease-and-desist order, or the patent owner can file a lawsuit against the infringer.

To avoid patent infringement, companies in Seattle and elsewhere can conduct patent searches before bringing a new product to market. This can help them identify any existing patents that may be relevant to their product and determine whether they need to obtain a license or make changes to their design.

In addition to conducting patent searches, companies can also work with patent attorneys to ensure that their inventions are properly protected. This can involve drafting and filing a patent application, as well as monitoring for potential infringement of the company’s patents.

The Legal Help You Need

Tim Billick has over a decade of experience in patent infringement procedures and will assess your legal concerns with the attention and professionality you need to protect your intellectual property rights.

We are a highly qualified Seattle-based law firm providing expert intellectual property solutions. If you would like to discuss your patent objectives, options, or any other intellectual property matters, contact TBillick Law PLLC at 206-494-0020 or use our convenient online form to request a consultation.

We proudly serve the residents of Seattle,Bellevue, Bellingham, Tacoma, Olympia,and the surrounding areas in Washington.

TBillick Law PLLC

600 1st Ave.

Seattle, WA 98104


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