- BigCorp applies for a patent for an overly broad software independent claim requiring the elements
- The patent office rejects the application, back and forth, and BigCorp adds element
gto narrow the claim.
- The Patent office awards a patent for claim
- The former designer of the original software leaves BigCorp to create a startup
- The startup creates software that loosely satisfies
a+b+c+d+e+f, but visibly NOT
- The startup gets a written opinion of non-infringement from a reputable attorney
- The code is clean, all new, no copyright, stolen data, etc. GitHub and Gmail are squeaky clean.
- The startup gets customers, not stealing customers from BigCorp, just succeeding in the shadow.
What if BigCorp decides to get ornery just to be ornery? What should the startup consider in its contingency planning? More specifically, what legal budget would be roughly "enough" to defend? Or is this hypothetical, just a distraction, and don't look in the rear-view mirror?
Related: Ask Patents question General knowledge on how software patent-infringement lawsuits are evaluated.