How to identify a Patent Infringer?
How to identify a Patent Infriger? Patent infringement means to use, sell, and modify any patent information without the permission of the inventor (patent holder). Permission may typically be granted in the form of a license. The scope or the extent of protection of the invention is defined within the claims of the granted patent. Claims disclose its public permitted and non-permitted usage of the patented information. The person involved in the act of patent infringement is referred as a patent infringer, and the process of locating a suitable and relevant licensee (person asking for license), is termed as patent licensee. It can even be thought as a potential licensee is the one, who is already an infringer.
Generally, this person is the one that settles down for claims with the inventor, with the help of license agreement, which can be created after mutual discussion and cooperation between the opposite parties. An important aspect is that patents are territorial rights that are enforced and valid within a specific territorial area, and infringement can only be counted, if the claims are infringed within that area. There scope is limited within that area. The patent holder or the inventor has to show that the opponent infringed the patent. The accuser has to prove his/her infringement with the help of better evidence.
There are different ways that could identify patent infringer, are described below:
- Direct: This is the person that identically describes the infringing invention. And the infringer’s scope, focus, or product functionalities match significantly with the original patent.
- Indirect: This person aids another in infringing a patent.
- Contributory: This person supplies a direct infringer with a part that has no substantial non-infringing use.
- Literal: This person has a direct correspondence with the words in the patent claims.
Whenever an act of infringement is caught by legal authorities (territorial court), the infringer is supposed to pay the damages to the inventor or the patent holder in terms of royalty for the unauthorized use or replenishment to actual damage to property. In addition to these direct damage payments to the patent holder, the prevailing party has to pay extra costs of court filing fees and related litigation expenses. Not only payments, the patent owner have the rights to stop the infringer from further infringement. The court typically, as a matter of course, issues a permanent injunction after the infringer is held liable for violating the patent.