How to deal with patent infringement : 5 essential steps
Patents are essential assets for inventors and businesses alike, providing legal protection for their innovations and inventions. However, when a patent is infringed upon, it can be a challenging and complex issue to address. Patent infringement can result in significant financial losses and damage to a business’s reputation.
It is; therefore, essential for businesses and inventors to understand how to deal with patent infringement effectively. Expert Commercial Law discuss the steps that businesses and inventors can take to address patent infringement, including identifying infringement, responding to infringement, and seeking legal remedies. We will also explore some of the challenges and considerations involved in dealing with patent infringement in the UK, providing practical guidance for those facing this issue.
Obtaining a patent
In England and Wales, a person can obtain patent protection by following the process set out by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The process typically involves the following steps:
- Conduct a patent search: Before applying for a patent, it is important to conduct a search to determine if the invention is novel and non-obvious. This can be done through various online databases or by engaging a patent attorney or agent.
- Prepare a patent application: Once the invention is determined to be novel and non-obvious, a patent application must be prepared. This typically involves drafting a written description of the invention and preparing technical drawings or diagrams.
- File the patent application: The patent application must be filed with the UK IPO, along with the appropriate fees.
- Examination: Once the patent application is filed, it will be examined by a patent examiner to determine if it meets the legal requirements for patentability.
- Publication: If the patent application is deemed to meet the legal requirements, it will be published in the UK Patents Journal.
- Grant of patent: If the patent application is found to be acceptable, a patent will be granted, typically for a period of 20 years from the date of filing.
It is important to note that obtaining a patent can be a complex process, and it is recommended to seek the advice of a qualified patent solicitor or agent to ensure that the application is prepared and filed correctly.
What is patent infringement?
Patent infringement refers to the unauthorised use, manufacture, sale, or importation of a patented product or process. In other words, it occurs when a person or entity (such as a company) makes, uses, or sells an invention that is covered by someone else’s patent without permission or licensing from the patent owner.
Patent infringement can occur in various ways, such as creating a product that uses the patented technology or process, selling a product that incorporates a patented invention, or using a patented process without authorization. It can also occur when someone makes modifications to a patented invention without permission or authorization from the patent owner.
If a patent owner believes that their patent is being infringed, they can take legal action against the infringing party. This can include seeking damages for the infringement, obtaining an injunction to stop the infringing activity, or licensing the patent to the infringing party for a fee.
How to deal with patent infringement
If you believe that your patent has been infringed upon, there are several steps that you can take to address the situation:
- Identify the infringement: The first step is to identify the alleged infringement and gather evidence to support your patent claim. This may involve conducting an investigation to determine how the alleged infringing product works and how it compares to your patented invention.
- Send a cease and desist letter: Once you have identified the alleged infringement, you can send a cease and desist letter to the alleged infringer. The letter should explain your patent rights, the alleged infringement, and demand that the infringer stop their infringing activities.
- Consider alternative dispute resolution: If a cease and desist letter does not resolve the issue, you may consider alternative dispute resolution options, such as mediation or arbitration, to try to resolve the dispute without going to court.
- Consider litigation: If alternative dispute resolution is not successful, you may need to consider Court proceedings. In the UK, patent disputes are heard in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) or the High Court. You will need to hire a qualified patent solicitor to help you file a patent infringement case and represent you in court.
- Seek damages and/or an injunction: If your patent is found to be valid and infringed upon, you may be entitled to damages for any financial losses you have suffered as a result of the infringement. You may also be able to obtain an injunction to prevent the infringer from continuing their infringing activities.
It is important to note that dealing with patent infringement can be complex and expensive, and it is recommended to seek the advice of a qualified patent solicitor to guide you through the process.
How can Expert Commercial Law assist?
Expert Commercial Law can put you in touch with an intellectual property solicitor who understands how to deal with a patent infringement effectively, following the correct Court rules.
Solicitors on our panel can help you navigate the complex and often confusing world of patent law, ensuring that your patent rights are protected and that any disputes are resolved efficiently and effectively.
Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors; however, we maintain a panel of trusted and regulated high profile legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case onto a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm.
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Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors; however, we maintain a panel of trusted and regulated legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case onto a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm.