Experienced San Diego Patent Attorneys
Buche & Associates, P.C. is based in San Diego and also has offices in Los Angeles and Houston. We handle patent cases that span the country and the world.
With decades of experience, the firm is familiar with both patent litigation and patent acquisition. Our patent attorneys are registered with the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Importantly, and unlike many other firms, our litigation patent attorneys are registered with the Patent Office, and have experience with patent acquisition so they thoroughly understand the nuanced issues that come up in patent litigation—such as parallel administrative venues, “prior art” issues, patent validity, and administrative patent procedures that affect patent protection. In many cases, understanding these critical issues can bring a swift resolution to a case that otherwise would have lingered.
Similarly, our patent acquisition attorneys are familiar with patent litigation, and harness that experience to draft the strongest possible patents. The fact is, not all patents are created equal. And not all patent attorneys are equal either. Unless a patent attorney has worked with patent litigation, he or she may not fully grasp what actually makes for a strong patent. At Buche & Associates, P.C., our patent prosecution attorneys take pride in working to draft patents that are strong, and with claims that were crafted with litigation and/or licensing in mind.
Our patent attorneys have considerable experience representing clients from various business and private sectors including oil and gas, medical, fashion, manufacturing, software, sports equipment, appliances, music, tactical systems, and more. Some samples of the patents that the firm has achieved for its clients can be seen here.
In addition to patent litigation and prosecution, we have handled countless transactions involving sale of IP assets, licensing, and provided infringement opinions.
San Diego Patent Attorney: Patent Law
Patent law is a unique part of intellectual property law associated with new inventions and designs. Traditionally, patent cases have involved mechanical inventions such as engines, semiconductors, or other machinery. Today, however, patents can be issued for a broad range of items that include coding algorithms, designs, fabrication methods, living organisms, and even some proprietary business practices. In fact, it’s an evolving matter of debate as to what is eligible for patent protections under the law and what items are, in fact, new and deserving of a patent.
There are two primary kinds of patents: utility patents and design patents. Our patent attorneys are comfortable handling cases that involve any of these patent types. Whether the patent is associated with software, a technical application, packaging design, or a chemical application, we can help protect your invention.
Our San Diego Patent Attorneys Are Experts
Buche & Associates, P.C. has expert patent attorneys who specialize in patent law and patent litigation. Our attorneys have advanced science and engineering backgrounds with technologies that include mechanical, electrical, biology, chemical, environmental, and aerospace disciplines. We represent a wide array of clients, ranging from individual inventors, to larger businesses. Our San Diego patent attorneys offer expert legal counsel and can help you protect your intellectual property by securing patents. We also help clients secure their trademarks and copyrights. Our patent attorneys are experts when it comes to filing complex applications and litigating complicated infringement cases. If you are you considering selling or licensing your patent, then our patent attorneys can help in that department too. We have vast experience with IP licensing.
San Diego Patent Infringement Attorneys
We take allegations of patent infringement seriously, and we know our clients do too. We understand how a patent infringement can drastically affect your business interests. Unchecked infringement can threaten markets, and the bottom line. On the other hand, bogus allegations of infringement can deter fair competition and innovation.
If any of these situations apply, we encourage you to contact the experienced patent attorneys at Buche & Associates, P.C.:
- you believe that your patent rights have been infringed
- you have been threatened with infringement allegations
- you have questions about the scope of rights of another patent holder
- you are looking to license patent rights
- you have a sale transaction involving patent rights
- you need to assign patent rights
- you have an issue with patent validity
- you have an issue with a Patent Trial & Appeal Board (“PTAB”) filing
- You have an issue with an inter partes review (“IPR”)
- You have an issue with a post grant review (“PGR”)
- You have an issue with an ex parte patent challenge
- You have a derivation proceeding at the PTAB
- You need a patent search and patentability opinion
Importantly, Buche & Associates, P.C. specializes in patent law and patent litigation for both plaintiffs and defendants. We have represented both sides on various occasions, so we know how our opponent is likely to evaluate a case. We bring this experience to the table for our clients. If you have questions about your rights as a patent owner or have concerns about patent infringement, you can contact us to assess your case.
We know that patent litigation can be an expensive process, so our attorneys take care to fully assess any possible infringement strategies while carefully considering and informing our clients about the pros and cons of going to court. If a client is being accused of patent infringement, we can provide counsel as to how best to deal with defense from a cost perspective, and find a solution that meets the needs of your business.
Aggressive Patent Litigation Representation
You deserve aggressive legal representation on patent issues that can affect your business. Buche & Associates, P.C. will deliver this type of service. Not only do we have attorneys who are experts in the area of patent law, but we have attorneys who like to litigate and will be more than comfortable trying your case to a jury, judge, arbitration panel, mediator, or arguing in appellate forums. Our San Diego patent attorneys have done all those things, and if your opponent is not reasonable in negotiation, we will find justice elsewhere by harnessing the other wheels of procedure. Being experts in these matters allows our attorneys to provide our clients with aggressive representation, and representation designed to secure their best interests.
San Diego Patent Attorneys: Venue and Patent Law
In most cases, patent litigation proceeds in federal court. There may also be infringement cases that arise from administrative bodies like the International Trade Commission. Our attorneys find that venue is typically among the first arguments between parties where litigation is concerned. The choice of venue is important, particularly as it relates to the convenience of the parties involved in the case. Since many patented items are distributed globally, the most appropriate venue may be within federal jurisdictions.
Also, these days, with some of the changes of the Patent Reform Act in place, there are numerous alternative venues for resolving patent disputes, but most notably the Patent Trial & Appeal Board or “PTAB” as it is commonly known. Most patent disputes will find their way into this forum or parallel litigations may sometimes proceed. The PTAB provides an administrative avenue to challenge the validity of patents. Much deference is now given to this board, so that that lawsuits filed in federal court are often “stayed” as the boards decide matters of patent validity on a claim-by-claim basis. There are a variety of procedures available for litigants at the PTAB including inter partes review (“IPR”), post grant review (“PGR”), and ex parte challenge mechanisms that are commonly used. At Buche & Associates, P.C. we have successfully deployed all of these procedural mechanisms to achieve good results for our clients. We are licensed at the Patent Office and are quite comfortable with these challenges and balancing them with the nuances of litigation in federal courts that span the country.
In other cases, patent disputes will proceed by arbitration, where private judges decide matters of infringement, or they can involve proceedings at the International Trade Commission, which will consider proceedings to obtain exclusion orders.
San Diego Patent Attorney: What Are Some Remedies for Patent Infringement?
Often, our clients seek legal counsel from us because they want another party to cease infringing upon their patent. They may want imports of patent-infringing products to stop. They may also desire—as is their right—monetary damages. In patent cases, the courts may award the patent owner damages as related to reasonable licensing royalties or lost profits of the plaintiff. It’s often necessary to solicit the advice of forensic economists to evaluate damages associated with patent infringements. Injunctions are also often sought to get the infringement shut down. In other cases, patent rights holders may seek exclusion orders, or seizures of infringing products with the cooperation of either the U.S. Marshall’s service or United States Customs & Border Protection which is part of the Office of Homeland Security.
What Is the Procedure for Patent Infringement?
Patent litigation in federal court typically concerns several major focuses. We will elaborate upon them here:
During the claim construction phase of litigation (which can occur at various times), the court will examine the language used in the claims to define the case’s scope. Each term in the claim is significant, and some more than others, which is why it’s essential to seek counsel from a law firm that has attorneys who specialize in patent law and real experience with federal litigation. At the beginning of this process, the court will assess the patent description and also evaluate the paperwork and file history that preceded the patent’s issuance. In some cases, the court may choose to employ an expert to decipher the claim as patents can be highly complex. The conclusion of this phase often ends with a Markman hearing, which may involve testimony from witnesses. Our attorneys have seen cases where the Markman construction nearly concludes the patent infringement case with a summary judgement. In these cases, a party might seek to elevate the case to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has a history of considerable reversal rates. Claim construction is also an important phase of cases that proceed at the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (“PTAB”) because interpretation of patent claims will have a bearing of patent validity.
If a patent claim is invalid, it can’t be infringed. For this reason, many patent disputes focus on patent validity. Patent validity challenges can occur in federal court, but increasingly, litigants are moving disputes on the validity of patent into the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (“PTAB”), due to the perceived lower costs, expert judges at the PTAB, and statistically higher success rates of killing patents in that forum. Patent validity challenges proceed on a claim-by-claim basis, and the challenger will typically try to show that the claims were invalid because of issues of lack of novelty under 35 USC §102, for being “obvious” under 35 USC §103, for not being “enabled” under 35 USC §112, or sometimes for issues of “fraud on the patent office” by reason of knowing failures to disclose critical references to technologies that pre-date or “anticipate” the patent claims.
Assuming a patent survives validity challenges, Markman construction, and summary judgment defenses of non-infringement, then infringement liability will come into play. Infringement liability may or may not include damage evaluations. Some litigants care more about an injunction that will stop infringements than monetary damages. But, it’s during this phase that plaintiffs will attempt to prove that their patent has been violated by providing evidence, reports, and witnesses who attempt to prove that the defendant’s products or services have all the elements of the plaintiff’s patent claims. During this part of a trial, a defendant will argue that they did not infringe upon the patent claims. Frequently, experts will be called in to opine on whether the elements of the claims are met when compared to the Defendant’s products.
Arguing about damages is a particularly intensive part of the process as one might imagine. The plaintiff will want to achieve compensation for lost profits or sales, or to find a reasonable royalty. It’s common for both the plaintiff and defendant to call in forensic economists or accountants to review the case and present damage models. Sometimes the court will decide to separate phases of the case depending on the interests of justice.
Enhanced Damages in Patent Cases
If the plaintiff proves that the defendant willfully infringed on the patent owner’s rights, they can be liable for increased damages. If the defendant knew that the patent was valid and continued to infringe upon the owner’s rights, they are liable.
Declaratory Judgment Actions
A party accused of patent infringement may be entitled to a Declaratory Judgment Action under federal law. This action is effectively a request for the court to decide if an activity is infringing upon the owner’s patent or if the patent is valid. Declaratory Judgment actions are often the first filings to win the venue battle, and to determine in which jurisdiction a patent case will be heard. Some jurisdictions, such as the legendary Eastern District of Texas, have become known across the country for their roles in resolving patent disputes, and spawning legislation.
San Diego Patent Search Attorneys
If you need a patent search, you should hire real patent attorneys to perform the search. At Buche & Associates, P.C., we do not outsource our patent searches. They are done in house by our own patent professionals in San Diego or Texas, and they are also reasonably priced. Our searches are classification-based, and we make sure to thoroughly understand and identify appropriate search parameters for every case. It has been our experience that many of the online “patent search” services that offer discount searches are not much better than what a user could find by a simple word search on a major search engine like Yahoo, Bing or Google. Many of the discount search companies completely miss the points of novelty, or simply do not understand the technology they are searching well enough to identify relevant prior art. Worse, disclosing proprietary technology to services outside of the country, where legal privilege and confidentiality may not exist, is dangerous. At Buche & Associates, P.C., we are licensed attorneys in the United States and the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Your confidential and legally privileged information will be secured on encrypted platforms.
A good patent search is of the utmost importance for understanding whether a technology is patentable, what scope of protection may be available, and also for other reasons where patent validity is in question, or infringement may be a concern. We have different patent searches that target a variety of needs. If you would like to get started on your patent search, do not hesitate to contact us for a free initial consultation.
San Diego Patent Attorneys: Choosing the Best Patent Attorneys
Patent law involves many complexities. Both plaintiffs and defendants require experienced attorneys who specialize in this aspect of the law. With decades of experience, Buche & Associates, P.C. has expert patent attorneys who can represent you throughout the patent process, with patent acquisition, patent infringement opinions, licensing, and patent infringement litigation. Our San Diego patent attorneys will meet with you to discuss your patent issue, taking care to examine all of the issues to provide you with the best legal counsel. We will meet with you initially at no charge to see how we may be of assistance. Before you receive any charges, we will make sure to understand the issues, objectives, and also to understand your budget needs. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation for any of your patent issues, contact us here.