I discovered that my idea with i plans to develop and profit from, is being used internally in a company. I was wondering since they aren't profiting directly from the idea do i have any legal leg room here. From my simple observation on how it work it violate my claims as its very specific problem. So the violations is clear. I guess SOMEHOW they ran into this issue and to continue operation came up with and idea that infringe mine. Just want to know what my options are here. They are much bigger then me there operation income is around 25-35 million so fighting them will be difficult.

  • Do you have a patent? What countries does it cover? Jun 14, 2020 at 7:42
  • Yes i have a patent and its in the United States. Sorry forgot to add that
    – user17028
    Jun 14, 2020 at 10:16
  • You contact a lawyer. Some are willing to represent you on a contingency basis.
    – Eric S
    Jun 14, 2020 at 14:52
  • Thank you. Doing it today. I just read the infringement laws more and see they did still violate the patent even if they are just using it.
    – user17028
    Jun 14, 2020 at 15:28
  • Based on you comments to the answer, you seem to only have an application. You can't do anything until you actually have a granted patent. Only then will you know what your claims will be.
    – Eric S
    Jun 15, 2020 at 22:46

2 Answers 2


Is your patent only filed in the USA? Has it actually been granted or is going through the search and examination phase ?

Be aware that you have to prove they did not use your idea before your filing date. You have to porovde that they used your idea after it was pubished.

How long has your patent been granted. If your patent is relatvely new when was it filed as they could file observations that could destroy your patent (depending how new it is and how far into the patent process you are if your patent is still in the search and examination phase).

you say " I guess SOMEHOW they ran into this issue and to continue operation came up with and idea that infringe mine"

That could be perceived as grounds for saying your idea was "obvious to someone skilled in the art" i.e: it is a problem that only has an one obvious solution ?

Do you know when they started using your idea and can you substantiate this. It could end up a your word against their corporate lawyers' and that could be expensive and lengthy. I have seen these things drag on for up to 6 years and there is only one winner and that is not the patentee or the infringer !!

Good luck


  • Yes its only a U.S patent. The patent Is in the filing stage, but my Provisional Patent application is almost a year old so i am sure i have the filing date over them. I am familiar with that company and no way they been using my idea before my PPA. That last bit do worry me tho. Because its a very specific issue that mos companies wont run in to i felt like i had ground to patent the idea. i guess i have is its such a unique problem most in the field that doesn't involve that certain field usually im combining two different fields, so issue and product is unique to that specific field.
    – user17028
    Jun 15, 2020 at 17:44
  • @user17028 If you patent application has not yet been granted, it is not a patent. You don't know what your claims will be until a patent is granted because claims are almost always narrowed during prosecution. If and when you ever get a patent issued then and only then could you sue for damages dating back to your priority date.
    – Eric S
    Jun 15, 2020 at 22:41
  • I understand that but couldn't i still ask them to stop. Yes i can't sue them now but if my patent is granted they could be in hot water and the longer they use it the more damages they have to pay later
    – user17028
    Jun 15, 2020 at 22:44
  • If user17028 gets a patent issued, then he can sue even if the company has been using the invention prior to his priority date. Patent goes to the first to file, not first to use. This is assuming the company never publicly disclosed the invention.
    – Eric S
    Jun 15, 2020 at 22:44
  • Thank you. Wish me luck hope i didnt waste a lot of money lol
    – user17028
    Jun 15, 2020 at 22:48

In the US, like most countries with patent systems, it is illegal to use an invention claimed in a patent without a license. In some countries, the government will grant an injunction against such users if you show evidence of the infringement to a court. In the US, at least in high-tech fields (bio/pharma might be different), injunctions are rare since the Ebay v MercExchange case. If you win a lawsuit, you are likely to be awarded the amount of money you would have gotten if you and the user had negotiated a license before they began using the invention. Such a license generally involves a royalty payment on their marginal profit from using the invention.

So, once you have your granted patent in hand, you ought to consider how much more profit are is the user making by using your invention than they would make without using your invention. A small portion of that difference, as a royalty, is what you could get if you win a lawsuit. If that is greater than the cost of the lawsuit then you should ask them to negotiate a license agreement and pay you a royalty. Otherwise, it is probably not worthwhile for you to do anything.

Of course, every situation is different. You might want to consult a knowledgeable attorney about your case.

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