Dogs of War

Oct 2000LegalTimes Oct 16, 2000

Intellectual property is the lifeblood of many companies, and losing it in court can be disastrous. Picking the right jurisdiction, hiring the best attorneys— in-house or outside—and moving forward aggressively can make, or break, a business. Every day, a large, well-known company finds out that someone else is using its famous mark without permission. Or a smaller company that has poured its heart and soul—not to mention all its finances—into one product sees another company marketing its intellectual property. In these situations, the natural question is: Do we sue? Many times, the answer must be yes. But to reach that conclusion, companies—no matter how aggressive—must carefully consider the strategies for and ramifications of suing. Top litigators from many Washingtonarea law firms and in-house counsel for telecommunications and technology companies say that before they make their first move toward the courthouse, they weigh everything from finances and the potential weaknesses of a patent at issue to the sentiments of the local jury pool and the message that litigation sends to competitors.

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