Saturday, January 23, 2010

What To Do If You Think Your Patent Has Been Infringed

By Aimee Sanchez

Patents enable an inventor to check unlawful use of his or her invention by others for their own personal gains in an illegal and unauthorized manner. They permit the inventor to prosecute a person or company for trying to make such unauthorized use of the original invention or its process. However, you should keep certain things in mind when going for a legal solution to deal with such an infringement.

Firstly, you are required to ensure that your patented product has been literally infringed. In other words, the alleged product should have copied all features of your original product. In some rare cases even if not all these aspects have been imitated by the violating party, the patent can still be considered to have been infringed. However, the infringing product must have similar features and produce the same result as the patented product for such a claim for infringement to be upheld in the court of law.

Secondly, you need to have some kind of direct connection with the patent in order to bring prosecution against the infringer. In other words, you ought to be the owner or licensee of the product for being eligible to fight against its infringement. Further, in order to make sure that your suit will get a court hearing, you need to file the suit within the allotted time under the limitation laws of your government.

Though, you have an option of prosecuting the owner or even the user of the infringing product, you can file such a lawsuit only when the patent is yet to expire. Once the span of patent has expired, no legal action can be taken against any infringement.

Finally, you must also keep in mind that patents can play a role in scientific research without it being labelled as an act of infringement even though the patent law is based on the principle of strict liability.

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