Did I forget to tell you about liability for patent false marking? I often get so focused on registering patents and trademarks that I do not stress the importance of proper patent marking. Falsely marking a product can lead to liability of $500 per item!
|False Marking Lawsuit Upheld against Brooks Brothers |
As you can see, I like to wear Brooks Brothers brand bow ties. These ties were the subject of a recent false marking case: Stauffer v. Brooks Brothers
In the case, the Federal circuit affirmed a member of the public's (i.e. qui tam) right to sue for $500 per item for an item that was intentionally faslely marked. The bow ties were marked with an expired patent number.
False Marking is particularly dangerous for the following reasons:
- A member from the public not specifically harmed can bring the law suit
- The plaintiff's bar is aggressively seeking cases
- The damages can be $500 per item.
Typical false marking situations:
- Expired patent number remaining on product
- Claims of patent do not cover the actual product
- No patent applicaiton filed, yet product marked "patent pending".