In general, companies may risk going out of business if they are not able to protect their innovations from the predatory business practices of others. One of these predatory business practices is extorting money from companies by entities known as Patent Trolls bringing ill-founded lawsuits based upon overly-broad, low-quailty, patents. Another predatory practice is a competitor asserting a low-quality patent against your company.
This real threat of companies being attacked in federal courts with low quality patents prompted a response from the public sector that led to Congress passing the America Invents Act (AIA), which created a new way to challenge patents – a Post-Grant Review process heard before administrative judges at the USPTO.
While the AIA was well intended in tring to curb the “Patent Troll”-type activities, it also led to an unintended consequence of creating an opportunity for patent trolls, competitors or activist funds to attack your company’s quality patents, using the same Post-Grant Review process. For example, a hedge fund might short the stock of a pharmaceutical company, file some Post-Grant Reviews against their patents, which often can cause the stock price to drop in the short term. The hedge fund makes money, and then doesn’t care whether it wins or loses the Post-Grant Review challenge. Another example, a start-up has some high quality patents that threaten industry leaders. These large companies can undermine the reputation of the start-up’s patents by filing Post-Grant Review challenges. While the start-up often wins such battles, the loss of time and money weakens the ability of the start-up to obtain market share.
The Post-Grant Patent Defense Insurance Policy available from IPISC helps level the playing field, enabling the policy holder to resist the first wave of attack, i.e. Post Grant Review, against their patents by infringers, trolls and others.