In the event that the parties do not reach an agreement, one of the parties may decide to file a lawsuit to resolve the dispute. Clearly, most, if not all, parties to a patent-infringement lawsuit hire attorneys to represent them in the suit. However, parties should be prepared to help their counsel by responding to their attorney’s requests for information.

The first stage of litigation is thepre-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 conductingdiscovery. 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.