As part of the broad spectrum of intellectual property services that our firm provides, we are asked to provide our clients with opinions concerning the validity, enforceability, and infringement of the rights of others. Most often, this arises in the patent context and, for that reason, we discuss our capabilities in view of patent law. We note, however, that we are also familiar with the preparation of opinions in other intellectual property areas, such as trademark law.
Opinions may be desired or required, for example, when a client is interested in introducing a new product into the marketplace (sometimes referred to as a “product clearance opinion”). In this context, typically, the client wishes to understand the scope of patent rights that have been obtained by others so that the client might avoid infringing those rights. Often, this involves considering one or more potential product designs that the client is developing.
We have assisted clients with both targeted product clearances and also clearances that encompass a broad spectrum. We have prepared opinions that provide guidance to our clients developing new products.
In connection with this service, we also assist with patent monitoring to apprise clients of newly issued patents that might be of interest or concern.
Specific Patent Reviews
In other contexts, specific patents are the focus of a client’s concerns. These types of concerns may come up, for example, when a client receives a request to enter into a licensing arrangement or when a client receives a cease and desist letter.
Here, an evaluation of the validity, enforceability and infringement of the patent rights is more important, typically, because patent infringement litigation is (or may become) a real possibility. Opinions of this type may be desired, for example, to defend against a charge of willful infringement in patent litigation.
As noted above, we are also familiar with, and have prepared, opinions in the context of other intellectual property rights, such as trademark rights and/or design patent rights.