Recommended Reading – The Anatomy of a Patent Case
Patent litigation is unlike any other civil litigation. Most civil litigation involves a cause of action, such as negligence or fraud, with a series of elements that must be met in order to win. Patent litigation can be thought of in these terms, but it also involves claim construction proceedings, the doctrine of equivalents and invalidity defenses that may be based on a host of different factors such as the prior art, lack of enablement, and failure to satisfy the written description requirement. These are just the legal issues. Of course, understanding the technology that is the subject of the patent-in-suit is often complicated also.
For those of you who are just getting involved in patent litigation or may do so in the future, I strongly recommend The Anatomy of a Patent Case, a book published by the American College of Trial Lawyers. Recognizing that some readers may feel insecure with advanced technologies, the authors used one of the simplest patents imaginable: a pizza box separator ring that keeps the top of a pizza box from collapsing on the pizza. The book walks readers through a patent infringement case from its filing, through investigation, discovery, summary judgment, trial, post-trial motions, and appeal. It also describes Canadian patent litigation. The book provides an easy to understand road map that applies to most patent cases and is an easy read. I routinely recommend it to new attorneys working on patent cases for the first time.