If you have created something, or a process to do something and had it patented, no one else can use, sell, make or import it into the United States without your permission. When you have found that someone is using your invention, you need to take steps to stop it immediately. If you do nothing to stop the infringement it can be misconstrued that you are allowing others to use your invention. Although you can get things started yourself, it is best to talk with an attorney experienced in patents.
File a Patent Infringement Complaint in a Federal Court
Before contacting the infringer, it is a good idea to go ahead and file an infringement complaint with the federal court closest to you. This filing does not have to be served to the infringer right away. You have up to 120 days before giving the papers to the infringer and starting the legal process. However, this filing means your court has jurisdiction over the case so all legal matters concerning the case will be handled where you are and not where the infringer is. If you do not file first and just send a cease and desist letter, the infringer can file a declaratory judgment of non-infringement in the court of his or her choosing. If the infringement is taking place out of your area, you will have to travel to them to continue the case.
Cease and Desist Letter
Although you can write a cease and desist letter yourself, when it comes from a lawyer, written in legal terms, it is going to get more attention. The first letter will be polite, and non-accusatory. The lawyer will explain that it has come to your attention that the person may be using, making or selling your patented invention. It will include a complete description of the invention and a copy of the granted patent. It will state that if he or she is infringing on your patent that the actions must cease and desist immediately. You may also offer some type of license agreement in which you receive a royalty or some other compensation for the use of your invention.
Your lawyer will watch to see if the infringement stops or not. If it does, the situation is resolved and nothing further needs to be done. If the infringer ignores the letter and continues with the activities, it is time to have the federal court papers served to the infringer.
You have the right to any monies earned from your invention, whether from the use or sale of the it. You went through the whole patent process to protect your rights. Do not allow people to infringe upon your inventions, talk with a patent lawyer (such as one from Kaufhold & Dix Patent Law) and either stop the infringement or get the money you deserve for your hard work.