Why It Is Important to Police and Enforce Medical Device IP Rights

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Andrew Rapacke
Andrew Rapacke

The medical device and healthcare technology industries are rapidly developing and advances are being made at a remarkable rate. New life-saving devices and treatments are created every day. A technological innovation, unique medical device design or revolutionary new treatment technique or procedural method can be a valuable business asset, and as such, these innovations should be protected by the appropriate intellectual property rights. Having the right IP protections in place can give a medical device company a distinct advantage over their competitors.

But simply obtaining intellectual property rights isn’t enough. Once IP protections have been secured, it is critical for medical device companies to police and enforce their IP. Below are a few tips for policing and enforcing your company’s medical device IP rights:

  • Start monitoring within your own organization. Misuse of IP rights often starts at home, with internal misuse of trademarks, patents and protected designs. Make sure that your employees understand what the company’s IP assets are and that employees have responsibility to the company to have a thorough understanding of good practices for protecting the company’s IP assets. Semi-annual training serves as an effective reminder for employees on how to protect the company’s valuable IP assets.
  • Engage a watchdog service or attorney to monitor the IP landscape. Periodic review of the activities of your competitors will help keep your company informed about the current state of the art and the relevant IP landscape. While keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing is a good idea, you should also be monitoring for new IP rights that are being issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Keeping tabs on the IP being issued by the USPTO will keep your company abreast of the newest developments in the medical device intellectual property space in which your company operates.
  • When you notice unauthorized use of your IP, take action. If you discover that someone appears to be using your IP rights without permission, you need to take action immediately. Contact an experienced IP lawyer to discuss your IP infringement concerns, and together you and your lawyer can take the appropriate steps to put a stop to it. A cease-and-desist letter from a lawyer is the first step to putting an end to unauthorized use of your company’s medical device IP. Cease-and-desist letters usually do the trick, but if the infringer ignores your letter and continues to infringe on your company’s IP rights, the next step is to take further legal action. You can file for a court-ordered injunction, or can file an infringement lawsuit. You should discuss your legal options with an experienced IP attorney.

How An Experienced Medical Device IP Lawyer Can Help

The intellectual property landscape surrounding medical devices is changing every day as new IP rights are being issued by the USPTO. An IP lawyer with experience in medical device technology will be able to help your company not only secure the IP protection that you need, but will also be able to help you develop a strategy for policing and enforcing your company’s valuable IP rights. Contact the professionals at The Rapacke Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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