Harness Dickey Principal and patent litigator Glenn Forbis was interviewed by Law360 for a new article aimed at providing practical tips for attorneys who are looking to sign their first patent litigation client.
According to the article, patent lawsuits are decreasing in popularity, with nearly 40% fewer cases filed in district courts in 2018 compared to 2015. A smaller pool of work means more competition, which can put younger attorneys, who often lack business development experience, in unfamiliar waters.
To stand out from the competition, Forbis recommends devoting ample time to preparation. “You have to distinguish yourself from your competition, and the best way to do that, I think, is coming in having demonstrated that you’re willing to put in a tremendous amount of work,” he said.
Two things to focus include the substance of the litigation and the strengths and weaknesses of the case. Reviewing public information should afford a basic understanding of the infringement allegations, while reviewing the patent itself should reveal any possible patentability concerns. Highlight anything that the in-house team may have missed or that your firm handles especially well.
Other practical insights include learning as much as possible about the company and its business model. Attorneys should know (or be prepared to ask) how critical the patent is for the company’s business revenue stream, for example.
Part of any conversation with a potential client will include a discussion about costs. Keeping in mind the firm’s core strengths and those of likely competitors, sharing a detailed proposed budget can go a long way in establishing trust and differentiating oneself from the pack.