Do you need a patent infringement opinion?

In the process of developing new products, there is always a risk that your product will infringe on another's patent. One way to reduce exposure to liability is by obtaining an infringement opinion from a patent attorney. It is helpful to keep a number of legal and business considerations in mind in evaluating whether an opinion is necessary. An elaborate opinion is usually not necessary for simple technology, as an attorney may be able to make a quick determination of whether there is a risk of literal infringement. Although it is optimal to obtain an opinion before potentially infringing activity begins, in some situations it may be more cost effective to wait until a more specific threat arises from a patent holder. The need for an opinion may be reduced to the extent that product redesigns are easily made or low product sales are anticipated. Conversely, if the product is important or a known patent holder has an exclusive or semi-exclusive market presence, the need for an opinion is paramount. Good legal counsel can help you sort through the relevant factors and provide you with information to make informed decisions on how to manage risk and achieve your business objectives.