In 2019, Amazon launched a new pilot called the Utility Patent Neutral Evaluation Procedure (UPNEP), which allows patent owners to enforce rights against infringers in the Amazon marketplace. UPNEP provides patent owners the opportunity for a neutral patent evaluator to consider one claim (only) of an issued, active U.S. utility patent, as compared against up to twenty substantially similar infringing products. The procedure is by invitation only, but if properly handled can provide successful results in weeks, rather than the years-long timescale typical of a full-blown patent infringement case.
In Dorsey’s client’s case, the initial challenge was deciding which of many possible claims would make the simplest case because the infringing products were so similar. Although sellers have the option of having a neutral evaluator evaluate the claims for a modest price, none of the sellers chose to participate in this process, and instead all the infringers had their products de-listed – a major success for our client.