Serve No Complaint Before Its Time: Owners of Intellectual Property Rights Should Be Patient In Filing Claims To Protect Their Holdings

Commercial Litigation Advisor & Alert

PUBLISHED ON: December 31, 2003

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Holders of valued intellectual property rights are increasingly willing to seek judgments defining and enforcing those rights. Courts and practitioners alike have become more familiar with the principles of unfair competition and the confidentiality agreements used to protect intangible property. Parties should be careful, however, not to overreach or be overeager in protecting their rights. Filingpreemptive claims prior to acts of infringementmay serve to weaken the owner’s intellectualproperty rights. When contemplating how best to protect one’s rights against would-be competitors, it is important to be patient and to define clearly what activity constitutes infringement.