With California being the hub of some of the most innovative products, patent disputes and litigation will be a persistent problem. For those who believe they have created something unique and new, there will always be a fear that others will either try to piggyback on it or outright steal it. This is when having a patent is crucial. However, there are requirements to having a patent. Courts will scrutinize the claims of those who are saying their product was protected by a patent and those who are accused of wrongdoing. One recent case exemplifies this challenge and others who are in this type of innovative and creative business should pay attention to it.
Patent deemed to be lacking sufficient inventiveness for legal protection
The German software company SAP and Teradata, a company with which SAP was in a joint venture since 2008, have been sparring over intellectual property with each side filing claims against the other. Teradata filed its case in California in 2018. According to the plaintiff, SAP used its joint venture with Teradata to gain access to its intellectual property and build a database for its own purposes. The allegedly stolen intellectual property gave SAP the ability to release its database faster than it otherwise would have.
Summary judgments were issued as the trade secrets had not been marked confidential and there was no damage to Teradata’s market. From Teradata’s perspective, the judge determined that there had not been sufficient notice given about its trade secrets when the partnership started. This stems from its failure to protect its confidential information.
For its part, SAP said Teradata infringed on five patents it owned. That case is ongoing and is set to be heard after the new year. One of SAP’s patents was said to be lacking in inventiveness to be legally shielded by a patent. The judge said that SAP’s number of claims of infringement is reduced to three from its original five.
Patent litigation will require experienced and professional help
The foundation of a business that thrives on innovation, creativity and sometimes collaboration is if there is a patent in place. When there is a disagreement as to whether the patent was violated, if there were mistakes made, when compensation may be required or if owners or users are accused of wrongdoing, it is imperative to have professional guidance with how to proceed. In a best-case scenario, an agreement can be forged. If that is not possible, patent litigation will be needed. Having assistance with assessing the case and moving forward is key for companies that are just starting out, are established and are large or small.