Houston Full-Service Law Firm — Patent, IP, and Copyright Lawyers
At Buche & Associates P.C., we provide a broad range of legal services including civil litigation, intellectual property protection, patents, and copyright litigation. The lawyers in our firm work with businesses and individuals to ensure their rights are properly protected and they receive the right legal representation.
If you’re looking for an experienced Houston patent attorney or you need assistance protecting intellectual property rights, schedule your free consultation today.
Accomplished Houston IP Attorneys
At Buche & Associates P.C., a large part of our practice involves intellectual property rights. In fact, we’ve been handling intellectual property cases for more than 20 years.
Our IP attorneys have handled intellectual property licensing at all levels of business — small and medium-sized businesses and Fortune 500 companies.
Whether you need to license, sell, or secure your intellectual property, our IP lawyers can help you. The fact is, your company’s intellectual property is probably one of its most important assets —and it should be handled properly. It’s more important than ever that your company’s intellectual property is properly protected. That’s why you need an accomplished IP attorney, like those at Buche & Associates P.C., on your side.
In addition to working with businesses of all sizes to license, secure, and litigate intellectual property matters, we’ve worked with companies in various industries. Some of the industries our IP attorneys have experience working with include:
- Automotive products
- College team logos
- Beverage distribution
- Famous golf club brands
- Famous footwear brands
- Graphic artwork
- High-end medical equipment
- Hotel franchise licenses
- Material handling products
- Merchandising for popular comic characters
- Musical works
- A nationally recognized brand of power tools
- Video games
Over the past 20 years, we’ve worked with all kinds of businesses throughout a wide range of industries to help commercialize various types of IP rights, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secret technologies, and trade dress.
Our IP attorneys have vast experience in trademark, copyright, and patent litigation. So not only can we secure your company’s intellectual property and make sure your agreements are enforceable in the proper forums, we can handle most disputes that arise.
If you need to discuss your company’s intellectual property and how to secure it, contact Buche & Associates P.C. for a free consultation.
Reliable Houston Patent Attorneys
Has your company been accused of patent infringement? Even the accusation of patent infringement can be detrimental for businesses, so it’s important you speak with a reliable Houston patent attorney as soon as you’re accused. Buche & Associates P.C. has over decades of experience dealing with intellectual property law, including handling patent infringement cases.
Patent laws are complex, so you need a patent lawyer who understands the law and knows how to devise a plan of action for your business. It’s important to secure an infringement opinion to determine whether there is even an issue and if so, devise a plan to proceed with your case. Our patent attorneys can help you through the entire process.
The Patent Infringement Litigation Process
Patent infringement cases are typically filed in federal court, and usually begin with a complaint. In some cases, they may have been preceded by a notice letter or a cease and desist letter from counsel or the patent holder.
The defending attorneys will have strategic decisions to make at this point. They may answer the complaint; or they may file other motions to either dismiss the case for improper pleading, or they may also file to try to get venue changes if appropriate. In some cases, motions to “stay” or pause the proceeding may be filed to try to move disputes of patent validity to an administrative forum such as in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) where inter partes review, ex parte reexamination, derivation proceedings, or post grant review procedures may occur.
If the case stays in the court in which it was filed though, the courts will typically focus initially on matters pertinent to setting up scheduling orders, protective orders, and will often move into matters of claim construction. How individual courts schedule matters of procedure varies across the country, and with Local Rules. But with “claim construction,” the court reviews the language of the claims of the patent to define the scope of possible coverage and resolve ambiguities. During this process, the court looks at the patent filing history and all paperwork leading up to the issuance of the patent. After hearing arguments from patent attorneys on both sides of the case and possibly calling in experts to help decipher the claims, the court issues an order construing the claims (called a Markman order), which will have a major impact on the rest of the case—and often if a case remains. This issuance determines how both parties will continue to prepare arguments for their case.
If the claim construction order does not contribute to resolving the case, the parties will start to focus on infringement liability. During this time, attorneys try to prove or disprove the accused infringing product reads on the claims as they were construed by the court. During this time, our attorneys work with you to gather evidence, witnesses, and depositions to support your case.
After claim construction, damages will become more important and the parties will spend time preparing alternate damages models to present to the court. If the defendant is found to infringe a patent, damages may be awarded in the form of either “lost profits” or a “reasonable royalty.” Typically, this part of the case is expert intensive. It’s common for both parties to bring in forensic accountants and economists to testify in an effort to argue to establish what they feel is a fair amount. At times, the court decides to separate the damages phase of the proceedings from liability when the interest of justice, costs, or proprietary nature of financial materials warrant it.
Will You Have to Pay Punitive Damages If Patent Infringement Has Occurred?
It is not uncommon for a plaintiff to make accusations of “willful” infringement to try to recover enhanced damages. The court has the ability to increase damages if intentional infringement is shown, and also to award attorney fees in some cases of “exceptional” bad faith conduct. However, whether this type of damages are available is factually specific. Simply being found to infringe will not warrant such relief in most cases, and particularly if a defendant has a good faith basis to believe they do not infringe or a patent is not valid. In some cases, infringement opinions from counsel can help avoid enhanced damages awards. Patent infringement opinions are often secured as part of an overall plan in defense, but they may be useful for this purpose as well.
Our firm has experienced patent litigators. Our lawyers are federally registered and well versed in providing infringement and invalidity opinions. If you need help with a patent infringement case, contact us for a free consultation.
Declaratory Judgements and Patent Litigation
Under federal patent law, a party who is being threatened with patent infringement allegations or litigation has the right to file a Declaratory Judgement Action in a forum of his or her choosing. This action enables the court to step in to determine whether the threatening party’s patent is actually valid and/or if patent infringement has even occurred.
If you have a strong case of noninfringement or patent invalidity, this may be a good strategy. A patent attorney might start your case by filing a Declaratory Judgement Action.
If you have been accused of patent infringement, you need a reliable patent attorney by your side. Do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with Buche & Associates P.C.
What our Clients have to say...
Great... They helped me straighten out a patent 10 years ago and now I'm reaping the rewards. Thx JohnFlagPole Buddy2/14/2019
John and his team have been fantastic to work with. They are always responsive, professional and very knowledgeable. Highly recommended.Mark Leone2/09/2018
John and the associates at his firm have done some fantastic trademark and other intellectual property work for my business startup. His legal advice has been invaluable and I can't recommend his services enough.Jim B4/01/2014
I spoke with John and two of his attorneys about a the potential for patenting a bicycle braking apparatus. He was very knowledgeable and generous with his and his teams time. It turned out that the apparatus was not patentable but had it been we would have strongly considered Buche & Associates.MB S3/07/2014