The first stage of litigation is the pre-suit investigation. After the pre-suit investigation is completed, the plaintiff willprepare and serve the complaint. The defendant will usually answer and may counterclaim.
Once the pleadings close, the parties will begin conducting discovery. The parties will also prepare and filepreliminary and dispositive motions.
At some point the court willconstrue thepatent claimsand the parties will beginpre-trial preparation. (The various stages of the investigation will be discussed in subsequent blogs.)
If the parties do not decide to settle and the court does not settle any of the dispositive motions in favor of one of the parties, thetrial will begin.
If either party is not satisfied with the outcome of the trial, the dissatisfied party may decide toappealthe case.
Please note that most patent-infringement cases, like most other forms of litigation, are settled before going to trial.