Obtaining a patent is one thing. Protecting the rights after assignment of a patent is another. Each are separate activities. The process in the first instance is patent prosecution. The functions associated with the second focus on defending a patent against infringement and fall under litigation, as do those associated with challenging the validity of a patent in the first place.
The bifurcation of legal processes related to intellectual property prosecution can be frustrating. This was highlighted in a post late last year. It reported on a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in which the panel said that a doctrine that prevents inventors granted a patent from later challenging the validity of that patent in federal court or before the International Trade Commission does not necessarily prevent such a challenge through inter partes review (IPR).
One aspect of inter partes review (IPR) that has been a source of major contention is that it is an administrative judicial process that operates separately from the normal processes of the U.S. legal system. But, as we noted in an earlier post, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it doesn't violate the Constitution.
Intellectual property lawyers see this issue often: people neglect to think about protecting their product before marketing it.
The rock band Boston has been around for decades. Over those years, the band has racked up a lot of name recognition. And every musician who has ever played with the group has likely sought to capitalize in some way or another on that association.
The term "open innovation" is not new to anyone in the technology sector. It reflects an attitude shared by many that traditional strategies related to intellectual property management don't always hold the water they once did. There is still a place for secrecy. Just ask Apple if you doubt that. But open innovation embraces the idea that greater, and perhaps speedier benefits come from collaborating with parties internally and externally.