Patent infringement sounds daunting, but what exactly is it? Patent infringement is the violation of a patent holder’s legal rights in relation to a particular innovation. Making, using, proposing to sell, or selling something that includes every component of a patented claim or its equivalent while the patent is active constitutes patent infringement, unless the patent owner has given permission. Typically, permission is issued in the form of a license. Patent infringement is defined differently in different jurisdictions, but it usually involves using or selling the patented material without permission.
A patent claim establishes the parameters of an invention, hence defining the scope of the patent. The most crucial element of a patent application is the patent claim since it specifies the subject matter that is requested to be protected. The remainder of the patent specifications go into further detail about the invention. The claims of the awarded patent define the scope of the patented invention and the amount of protection. In other words, the terms of the claims notify the public about what is prohibited without the patent holder’s consent.
Patent litigation is the legal remedy that gives patent holders a way to enforce their intellectual property rights. The alleged infringer will usually argue that the patent in question should be declared invalid for one reason or another.
The patent holder can sue the infringing party to force them to stop infringing and to recover damages for the unlawful usage. Because intellectual property is protected by federal law, the patent holder must file a lawsuit in a federal district court against the infringing party.
Filing a lawsuit for patent infringement is the beginning stage of patent litigation.
The right to enforce your rights in a patent are not everlasting, however. Patent infringement suits must be filed within six years of the date of infringement. If the suit is not filed within this time frame, it will be time-barred, which would, in effect, ratify the infringement. While patent litigation is almost identical to any other federal case procedurally, the intricate legal questions concerning patent validity and infringement are left for the court to decide. Even though it’s uncommon, there have been patent litigation cases presented before a jury, rather a judge.
All countries now employ the first-to-file system, including the United States, which transitioned to the system after the America Invents Act was signed into law in 2013. The America Invents Act establishes the opportunity for third parties to submit information related to a pending application for consideration by a patent examiner. By allowing prior art to be submitted and explained, patent examiners will have a valuable tool to use to grant only high-quality patents.
Patent litigation cases are rarely simple, straightforward, or affordable. The discovery procedure is complicated and time-consuming since several patent specialists must be consulted and deposed. The parties to a lawsuit use the discovery process to learn more about the facts of the case. This is done primarily by asking the other party to provide copies of documents (including electronically stored information), respond to written “interrogatories,” and provide sworn testimony in depositions.
If you need help with patent litigation or infringement, it is in your best interest to hire seasoned professionals to help you navigate the process. Stanton IP Law Firm is ready to assist clients with any patent litigation or infringement matters across the U.S.
We are strategically headquartered Tampa, FL with locations in Washington DC, Boston, and New York allowing us to effectively serve the entire US with our premier intellectual property services.
Call us today to schedule your complementary evaluation to see if your case or the case brought against you holds weight.