Question: Do I have any legal recourse regarding apparently conflicting patents? How?
Question Detail: Someone has a design patent on my exact utility patent, same exact look, same exact function, same exact materials its made with. How did this happen? Do I have any legal recourse? This company has profited big time from my invention and I believe I have lost numerous wholesale and retail sales to them as I do not have the resources they do. I filed for the utility patent in early 2011 and was granted the patent in April 2013, they filed for the design patent in late. 2011 and it was issued early 2013. It is also my belief that a person associated with this company purchased the product from me prior to their filing as it is absolutely identical to my product.
ANSWER: One possible recourse is to file a lawsuit to invalidate the design patent and/or to recover damages for infringement.