Q: I found evidence that my granddad is the 1st patent holder ,inventer of the tubless tire ..what do i do to file law suit

2 Lawyer Answers

A: I infer from your question that you want to sue manufacturers of tubeless tires claiming that you rightfully inherited your grandfather’s patent.

If so, you should consult a patent litigation attorney regarding your rights in this regard. Such an attorney may also go by the rubric “intellectual property” or “IP” attorney.

Patent infringement has a six-year statute of limitations. Your grandfather, or you if you lawfully inherited his patent, have six years to bring a lawsuit against anyone who potentially violates the patent.

This is a highly specialized area of law. Most attorneys, even ones with years of experience in civil litigation, do not know enough about patent infringement to competently prosecute such a claim.

Many patent infringement claims are brought in a handful of federal districts nationwide (including the Eastern District of Texas) because only a small number of federal judges have experience in patent law.

Do not even think about trying to bring such a claim without hiring a competent patent litigation attorney. And yes, they are among the most highly compensated attorneys based on areas of practice.

Stephen E. Zweig
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  • Patents Lawyer
  • Los Gatos, CA

A: Given that you are talking about your grandfather, I am going to assume that you are talking about a patent that issued more than 20 years ago. Perhaps even in the 1950s or earlier?

Patents don't last forever. These days they last about 20 years from filing. Earlier US patents lasted 17 years from issue. After that, they expire, and become public domain. Anyone can use them.

Another issue: if your grandfather was working as an employee of another company, such as a tire company, then most likely he assigned the patent to that company. This would mean that the other company owned it.

So, chances are that the patent is only of historical interest at this point.

Kevin E. Flynn agrees with this answer

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