Last fall, a local small business printer received a letter accusing him of infringing another company’s patent, demanding that he stop the infringement, and pay damages and attorney fees. He took that letter to his corporate attorney. The corporate attorney told the printer he had no idea what needed to be done to solve the accusation, or what it would cost. Fortunately, the corporate attorney referred the printer to us. After investigating the matter, we were able to advise the printer that he was not infringing the patent, and advised him how to better position himself so he would be less vulnerable to such accusations.
The big issue here is the (i) shock of being accused, (ii) the shock of having no idea what needed to be done to solve the problem, (iii) the shock of being told by his corporate attorney that his corporate attorney had no idea what needed to be done or what it would cost, and (iv) the shock of having to trust a total stranger with the task of resolving the problem.
While your patent IP may not be able to eliminate the first two shocks, having an existing relationship with an IP attorney, sometimes referred to as a patent attorney, can eliminate the third and fourth shocks.
Give your local IP/patent attorney a call. Many of them will take the time to make your acquaintance without charge, and you will then have your resource in place if/when the need arises.