Patent Demand Letter Response: Do Nothing?

There was an interesting article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal about patent demand letters.  These are letters sent alleging patent infringement and demanding a cessation in all infringing activity usually followed by a request for a payment.  The author, Colleen Chien, proposes that sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all.

The article discusses the tactics of patent trolls, competitors and “patent bullies” and how they may strategically pursue one or more parties for infringement.  In some cases, where a patent troll or patent owner trying to test the waters may send out demand letters to obtain settlements from a number of parties.  However, Ms. Chien also points out that there are times that a patent holder may want to litigate in an effort to obtain a large damage award in a jury trial.

One thing Ms. Chien doesn’t address is the merits of the demand letter.  When you receive a letter alleging patent infringement, do the allegations have any merit?  A “do nothing” response may set you up for a patent infringement suit that may have been avoidable. 

What’s the take away here?  You are better off having a patent demand letter reviewed by patent counsel to address the merits of the accusation.  Then you can make an informed decision as to whether the substantive allegations in the letter deserve a response.   

Protecting your innovative developments is critical to any organization.  Having the right person to help you make that decision is important.  The Law Office of Kathleen Lynch PLLC is designed to help businesses such as yours keep ahead of the game.   The first telephone consultation is free.  Email us at