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Just because someone makes a patent claim against you, that does not always mean that the claim is valid. You must know your rights and what can happen when you go to court in California, especially if you feel that you'd done nothing wrong. Common reasons that the claim could be deemed invalid by the court include the following:

-- The person claiming to have invented the item in question could not have actually invented since it was shown in another patent, book, newspaper, television show, webpage or movie before that person claims to have come up with the idea.

-- The person who claims to have invented the item sold it or told the public about it for more than a year without filing for his or her own patent.

-- The alleged patent held by the other party is lacking statutory requirements, making it invalid. Such requirements could include a written description of the item or invention in question.

-- The subject matter that is being discussed is not something that can be patented in the first place. While many things can be protected in this manner, you can't patent anything. For instance, abstract ideas can't be patented. In most cases, you need an invention and design to go along with them.

Don't go to court over a patent claim without knowing what all of the proper legal steps are. If you'd like to learn more about how this works and why a claim may be valid or invalid, our attorneys can provide you with information and guidance.

The author's opinions expressed in this article are strictly his/her own and should not be attributed to any others, including other attorneys at Klein DeNatale Goldner or the law firm as a whole.