As more construction companies and contractors incorporate virtual and/or augmented reality in their projects, contractors using technologies beyond basic tools should budget for future patent issues so that the potential resulting disruptions can be kept to a minimum.
Steven Greenberg, an Intellectual Property partner in Shutts’ West Palm Beach office, tells Construction Dive that contractors should consider the development of a defensive patent portfolio and the acquisition of a risk management insurance policy to protect themselves against patent infringement lawsuits. Whereas the defensive patent portfolio provides leverage in negotiating a quick cessation of hostilities, the risk management insurance policy sets a maximum for out-of-pocket legal fees and covers the insured’s damages so as to minimize the impact of costly and distracting patent litigation upon the company.
As reported in the article, any system or technique that a contractor thinks is unique to them could have been patented by another company. “It’s typical, and it’s likely,” said Steve Greenberg. “The only question is what [is] the risk of somebody owning a patent feeling motivated enough and funded enough to sue another party.”
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About Steven M. Greenberg
Steven M. Greenberg is a partner in the West Palm Beach office of in Shutts & Bowen LLP, where he is a member of the Intellectual Property Practice Group. Steven focuses his practice on intellectual property rights with an emphasis on patent prosecution and strategic global patent counseling to clients ranging from large corporations to startups. He is a member of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.