I was Sued With An Intellectual property lawsuit, now what?

Being served with a lawsuit is stressful, especially when it’s against your business and involves your valuable intellectual property. After being served, there are serious deadlines you do not want to miss to best protect all your legal rights. For more information on being served with a lawsuit generally click here

THE SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT 

Intellectual property lawsuits involve patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyright.

 A lawsuit often begins when someone believes their intellectual property is being used without permission by another individual or business. A complaint names the parties involved and provides detailed allegations that form the basis of the lawsuit. The complaint may be filed in either state court or federal court, depending on the circumstances. 

But,  It’s my intellectual property 

Intellectual property is a complex area of the law. Sometimes individuals do not even know they are infringing on another’s intellectual property. Sometimes individuals are blindsided with a lawsuit because they have been using a particular trademark, name, or logo for years with no issue. Other times individuals believe they created the very thing another person claims to own.  

We can help you determine the best course of action if you’re served with a lawsuit alleging intellectual property infringement 

  • Challenging the allegations in the complaint for not stating a valid claim; 
  • Denying that owner has proved infringement; 
  • Asserting counterclaims claiming ownership of the property; 
  • Asserting appropriate defenses; and/or 
  • Negotiating a settlement of the lawsuit by, for example, agreeing to take certain actions to avoid the likelihood of confusion. 

What Should I do Now? 

After being served a lawsuit, you must respond with an “answer.” You’ll need to contact an attorney as soon as possible so they can assist you in drafting an answer. The answer deadline is very important. Ignoring a summons and complaint is not the solution. Not answering a lawsuit can result in default judgment automatically being entered against you. Default judgment will likely result in a large court judgment against yourself or your company. 

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW? 

After being served a lawsuit, do not destroy any documents. Collect and organize all important documents related to the claims. 

When considering options, keep in mind that litigation is expensive and time-consuming, and it can take years before a court delivers a decision. Intellectual property lawsuits generally take at least 18 months. After a defendant provides an answer, the plaintiff gets to respond to any counterclaims brought in the answer. Then the court will calendar a scheduling conference about 30 days later. Generally, courts schedule trial about 12-18 months after the scheduling conference, which allows for about 8-12 months of discovery.  

CONCLUSION 

Being served with a summons and complaint can be nerve-racking. There are important deadlines to be aware of and doing nothing is not the answer. Murdock Law has litigated complex intellectual property disputes in the past, call us at 844-744-7529 if you have been served with a lawsuit and need help with what to do next. 

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