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What is Patent Infringement Insurance?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Patent infringement insurance is an insurance product designed to assist with the expenses associated with patent infringement litigation. It includes both offensive insurance for people who need to pursue people engaging in patent infringement and defensive insurance for companies concerned about being sued for patent infringement. The policy will help pay for the costs of taking litigation through court, and in some cases will also cover damages if someone is ordered to pay out in a case of infringement.

People concerned about liability in patent infringement cases can purchase patent infringement insurance to help defray the costs of defense when they are brought into court. The policy specifically excludes cases of knowing and willful patent infringement. In cases where it is accidental, as might occur when a company is a third party hiring someone who commits infringement without being aware, the insurance will kick in an assist with defense costs. Some policies also include indemnity. In the event the case is decided in favor of the patent holder, the damages will be covered, up to an amount named in the policy.

For people with patents concerned about the costs of protecting them if they need to take suspected infringements to court, patent infringement insurance is available to assist with these expenses. Before people can purchase the insurance, a search must be conducted to determine that no known cases of infringement have been identified; people are not allowed to purchase this insurance product retroactively to cover expenses associated with their legal cases.

When people file claims on their patent infringement insurance policies, the insurance company will investigate the situation to determine if it is covered by the policy. This preliminary investigation can also be used by the company to assist people with the case in court, as the insurance company uses expert investigators skilled at collecting information. Many insurance companies help people locate attorneys and other services they may find useful in pursuing the matter in court, as the legal expenses can be lower with an experienced legal team at the helm.

This is a specialty insurance product. Most insurance policies specifically exclude patent infringement cases from their coverage, as the costs can become very high, very fast. People who are interested in patent infringement insurance can contact their insurance agents to see if it is possible to purchase this product through them. If the agent doesn't offer this product, a referral to an agent who does is a possibility.

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