What is a patent?

A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of years, in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure of the invention. In most countries, patent rights fall under private law, and the patent holder must sue someone infringing the patent to enforce their rights. In some industries, patents are an essential form of competitive advantage; in others, they are irrelevant. The procedure for granting patents, requirements placed on the patentee, and the extent of the exclusive rights vary widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements. Typically, however, a patent application must include one or more claims that define the scope of protection being sought. A patent may include many claims, each of which defines a specific property right. These claims must meet various patentability requirements, which in the US have novelty, usefulness, and non-obviousness. Under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) TRIPS Agreement, patents should be available in WTO member states for any invention, in all technology fields, provided they are new, involve an inventive step, and are capable of industrial application. Nevertheless, there are variations on patentable subject matter from country to country, also among WTO member states. TRIPS also provides that the term of protection available should be a minimum of twenty years.

What is patent litigation?

Patent litigation, in simple terms, is the legal process that takes place when someone who owns the patent for a particular invention enforces their right by suing another party for manufacturing or selling the invention without the owner’s permission.

The first step in assessing patent infringement is to determine the scope of the rights conferred by the patent.

Who can sue for patent infringement?

Patent holder

Exclusive licensee

Non-exclusive licensee

Who can be sued for patent infringement?

Any person who has not been duly authorised by the patentee or has not obtained the patentee’s consent can be sued for patent infringement.

However, some defences are available to an alleged infringer.

A patent holder doesn’t need to send a cease and desist notice to an alleged infringer before the institution of infringement proceedings.

When you have the right team appointed by you, a patent litigation lawsuit can be very profitable.

The process is long and often ends up costing more than the damages you are paid.

A reputed patent firm will be able to offer you the support you need. It will provide the necessary expertise to deal with every aspect of the case.