What is the Amazon patent evaluation procedure?
Patent owners may file a claim with Amazon to stop sellers from listing products that allegedly violate their utility patents. The ecommerce platform has created its own patent court. A patent owner can essentially start an Amazon seller patent case against infringing competitors.
Need to stop Amazon sellers from violating your patent? Contact US patent attorney Vic Lin at (949) 223-9623 to explore how we can help you enforce your patent against Amazon sellers. You can also email email@example.com and include your patent number and links to the accused products.
Known as Neutral Patent Evaluation, this option avoids litigation in federal court which can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. An Amazon seller patent case requires each side to pay a neutral evaluator a fixed fee and then submit written arguments as to why the accused products are infringing or non-infringing. Both patent owners and accused sellers may agree on at least one thing: an Amazon neutral patent evaluation will cost substantially less than a patent infringement lawsuit in federal court.
How much is the deposit to start a neutral patent evaluation?
Each side must pay the neutral evaluator a flat fee deposit, which is $4,000 as of the date of this post. In a typical American-style litigation where each side has to pay their own legal costs, it is very rare to be able to extract attorney’s fees or costs from the losing party. Here, Amazon has provided a merit base procedure where the winner gets their $4,000 returned.
How much does it cost to request an Amazon neutral patent evaluation?
For a design patent owner, our firm’s fee to request an Amazon neutral patent evaluation may range from $1,500 to $3,000 depending upon the number of accused product listings.
For a utility patent owner, our firm’s fee to request APEX may range from $4,000 to $9,000 depending upon a variety of factors, including the subject matter of the utility patent, the number of accused product listings, and the communications with Amazon’s patent evaluation team.
How much does it cost to prepare Amazon patent infringement arguments for a patent owner?
Several steps must occur before a patent owner is required to submit its infringement arguments. At least one accused seller must choose to participate in the evaluation by timely submitting their signed evaluation agreement. Afterwards, Amazon will select a neutral evaluator and contact the patent owner and each seller to provide instructions for wiring the evaluator deposit. The deposit is typically due in one week from the date of Amazon’s payment instructions.
Assuming both the patent owner and seller timely pay their respective evaluator deposits, a schedule will be set for the evaluation. Typically, the patent owner will have 14 days to submit its initial infringement arguments.
To prepare the patent owner infringement arguments, our firm’s fee starts at $4,500. Various factors may increase the cost of drafting the patent owner’s infringement arguments, including the patented technology, the number of infringing product listings, the number of accused sellers, etc.
Should accused Amazon sellers pay the deposit and sign the patent neutral evaluation agreement?
When a patent owner initiates a patent evaluation procedure, the accused Amazon seller has about three weeks to pay the deposit and sign the Amazon utility patent neutral evaluation agreement. Accused sellers should act promptly and take advantage of this 3-week period to make an initial determination of their likelihood of success.
If the utility patent has more than one independent claim, accused sellers might not know exactly which claim will be asserted against their products at this early stage since the patent owner has not yet submitted their written argument. This is where a patent attorney with patent litigation experience can be especially helpful. Experienced patent litigators can cut to the chase and narrow down the patent claims that will likely be asserted against your product listings.
Our firm can provide a preliminary noninfringement analysis of the asserted patent and your product listings. This comparison of the patent and your products may be a worthwhile review before you decide to invest in the neutral patent evaluation procedure. Results of our findings may be verbally communicated to the client at first.
What is the cost to prepare a seller response to the patent owner’s infringement arguments?
Our firm’s fee starts at $4,500 to prepare and submit a seller’s response to the patent owner’s infringement arguments. The seller’s arguments must be based on either noninfringement or prior sales. If our client prevails, then the initial deposit paid to Amazon will be returned to the client.
An Amazon seller’s response will normally take one of two approaches:
- argue noninfringement, in which case a claim chart should be used to show the absence of certain required claim elements; or
- argue past sales of covered products, in which case a claim chart should show how each claim limitation is found in the previously sold product.
In either case, the accused Amazon seller should expect a thorough technical analysis that is clearly summarized and effectively argued in the seller’s response.
Though rare, it is possible for a seller to argue both infringement and past sales which may incur higher attorney’s fees for the additional work involved.
Is there a contingency patent attorney for defending neutral patent evaluations?
Our firm is willing to explore hybrid contingency arrangements for Amazon sellers. Depending upon the strength of your particular noninfringement arguments as determined by our patent attorneys, we might be willing to explore alternative arrangements.
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