Legal Guide

What Is Patent Infringement?

Patenting an invention is the process of fixing the rights to an invention, idea, or certain intellectual property according to its author or inventor. Although this procedure is not mandatory, it is aimed at protecting the right holder, and therefore, there will be consequences of patent infringement, which look like a ban on the use of the invention or substantial material compensation. So, fixing their rights to the utility model is an extremely desired process.

In addition to protection, this gives the inventor an opportunity to make a steady income by receiving royalties or concluding another contract with those parties who are willing to use it legally. With this in mind, apply to patent licensing services as soon as you need to protect your idea or product, which may be the subject of intellectual property and for which you can obtain a patent.

Main Types of Patent Infringement

Before we talk about the options for infringements and penalties for this, let's understand what does patent infringement mean. So, any encroachment and use of patent rights without prior obtaining a license and permits and payments to the right holder of a certain amount under the contract is classified as an infringement of such rights. At the same time, we must understand that there are fundamentally different types of patent infringement. Most human rights activists face the following precedents:

  • Direct infringement, which means that the perpetrator uses patented technologies and products without the permission of the owners. Even a precedent is considered an offense when the infringer did not previously know about the existence of a patent.
  • The infringer did not use the patented invention directly but contributed to the violation directly or indirectly. On similar grounds, lawyers distinguish between induced infringements — incentives to manufacture products that are already on the market and are patented. In addition, there is a type of indirect violation such as cooperation.
  • Intentional infringement is the deliberate, often literal use of a previously patented invention, idea, or device.

Of all the types of patent infringement, intentional punishment is the most severe. If the fact of intentional use of an invention, idea, or other product is established and proved, the attacker is punished with three times greater compensation than in any other case.

What Measures Are Taken against Patent Infringers?

The most interesting question — what happens if someone infringes on a patent? The patent owner must first go to court. It is the owner's responsibility to prove that the patent is valid and that the infringement and unauthorized use have taken place. Most often, when making a positive court decision, the infringer is subject to various fines equal to the amount of actual damages incurred by the patent owner, including court costs.

Possible Types of Penalties for Patent Infringers

The possible consequences of patent infringement may be some of the options to which the court will be inclined:

  1. Permanent ban on the use of a product or intellectual property that infringes a patent. The perpetrator must stop all their actions.
  2. Compensation to the owner. These can be both actual damages and reasonable royalties. It all depends on the type and specificity of the product as well as the term of the patent.
  3. Coverage of the violator. The amount of costs includes court fees, payment for the preparation of documents and legal support, etc.

It should be understood that an infringement is considered only the case of unauthorized use that occurred before the expiration of the patent. The patent owner must file a lawsuit no later than six years from the date of the violation; otherwise, the offense becomes statute-barred.

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