Dr. Jan Voda is an international success, but his life would be considerably less complicated if his success were limited to just one country.
Voda is an Oklahoma cardiologist who invented a catheter that makes it easier to perform angioplasty in a coronary artery. Voda patented this catheter in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
"They didn't say never, but they came real close," says Jeffrey Lindgren, an IP attorney at Morgan Miller Blair.
The typical way of pursuing a global infringer is to sue in only the product's most important market, hoping this will pressure the infringer into a global settlement. This, however, doesn't really uphold foreign patent laws.
"One country's decision effectively resolves the conflict for the whole world, even though the law of those other countries is not considered," Dreyfuss says. "I don't think that's right."