Final week, a significant hashish model was sued for patent infringement by Geographic Location Improvements (“GLI”) within the District Courtroom of Colorado. The Grievance alleges GLI is the proprietor of the ‘285 Patent, titled “Machine, System and Methodology for Remotely Coming into, Storing and Sharing Addresses for a Positional Info Machine,” which amongst different issues, permits a consumer to request an handle, such because the handle for a retailer, from a server. The server determines the requested handle and transmits it to the consumer. The system can even decide route steering to the shop handle primarily based at the very least partially on the placement of the consumer.
The defendant’s web site has an identical retailer locator system that GLI claims infringes the ‘285 Patent. A consumer is ready to enter an handle and the web site will present an inventory of the closest retail places. The web site may also load navigation if the consumer requests instructions. Should you’re studying this and considering “wow, most retail web sites I’ve accessed these days have this characteristic,” you’re completely proper. GLI has been busy – our search of the federal courts discovered that GLI has filed 49 lawsuits since 2016, with 11 of them nonetheless ongoing. And naturally, it bears mentioning that this pattern of patent infringement litigation will solely turn into increasingly more prevalent within the trade as gamers concentrate on their on-line presence.
The true takeaway I’ve from reviewing this lawsuit is that this: do you’ve gotten mental property protections in place? Most of our purchasers are visionaries which might be constructing and implementing their enterprise plans, establishing enterprise relationships, and so on. They’re additionally establishing their on-line presences, however the precise work of making a web site is being outsourced to net builders most of the time. In such conditions, it’s essential to not gloss over the indemnification provisions of the settlement.
Some builders, who’re conscious that mental property trolls are on the rise, flat out refuse to comply with any indemnification. These builders really feel they’re simply constructing what the consumer is requesting, and the consumer ought to due to this fact bear the burden of potential patent infringement. Nonetheless, if the developer is suggesting options, or utilizing “dwelling grown” templates or instruments, full mental property indemnification might be correct and must be fought for (or at the very least, paid a premium for). Given each scenario is totally different, your arguments for a fan of full indemnification could change, however in completely each case, the dangers and advantages that will end result from this usually “boilerplate” provision must be weighed.
As you possibly can see from the cautionary story above, it might serve you very nicely to have correct indemnification clauses in place. In any other case, if you end up in litigation over one thing you had little or no to no management over, you is perhaps left holding the bag for another person’s mistake. Don’t depend on your net developer for authorized recommendation. Our mental property crew has seen all of it and is right here to assist.
For previous posts on the significance of indemnification provisions in different contexts, see: