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|Monday, May 01, 2006|
by Johnathan E. Mansfield, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt
The recent settlement of the NTP/Blackberry patent case caused a collective sigh of relief from thumb-typers everywhere.
Business asset loss
Whether you realize it or not, most of the assets that a company uses in its business (other than real estate) incorporate someone’s IP.
The Blackberry case drove this point home to millions of businesspeople. Business assets, including mechanical equipment, computers and software, may be covered by IP, including patents, copyrights and trademarks. If the owner of this IP is someone other than the vendor who sold or licensed the product, your business risks losing the use of these assets if a court finds infringement and enjoins the vendor from selling, and you from using, the product.
The number of patent and other IP infringement lawsuits continues to rise. While suits are filed against high-tech companies that are accused of making a product that infringes another’s patent, many lawsuits are also being filed against companies that aren’t traditionally considered to be part of the technology sector, such as food processors and tool manufacturers.
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