We’ve blogged about professional legal interpreting, legal translation services and multilingual translations in the context of patent infringement actions. Suppose that Company A and Company B compete in manufacturing similar products, and both hold patents that cover specific aspects of this product. Although the aspects are different, they are quite similar and thus lead to patent litigation. Although both companies hold legitimate patents, in the claim and counterclaim both claimed patent infringement.
In a case like this, the court will see that the two parties compete in the same marketplace and for the same buyers – with the question being whether there is a case-or-controversy surrounding either of the patents. To decide this, the court, surprisingly, will focus on the letter of accusation to see whether a claim of infringement was made. In one recent case, the court held that a letter threatening to take legal action is not sufficient to show a claim of infringement.
When no case-or-controversy exists, the case will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
The key point to take away from this is the importance of the letter. Whenever a patent infringement is alleged, Company A must make Company B aware of the fact that they will take legal action for an infringement. Further, this belief must be clear to Company B. In other words, if Company B is a foreign company, the letter should include a foreign language translation.