Points To Consider Prior To Filing A Suit For Infringement Of Your Patent
Patents offer an inventor the right to stop others from using his or her invention for their own commercial advantage through unlawful means. They permit the inventor to sue a person or company for attempting to make such illegal use of the product or the process. However, you ought to keep some important things in mind when looking for a legal option against patent infringement.
Firstly, you are needed to make sure that your patented invention has been replicated literally. In other words your original product should have been copied in all its features including the apparently insignificant ones. It is only in certain special cases that an infringement that is not strictly literal is treated as a genuine infringement of a patent. However, this needs strong evidence to the effect that there are enough similarities and that the end result that the imitated product creates is notably similar to the genuine product.
Secondly, you ought to have some kind of direct connection with the patent in order to file a suit against the infringer. That is, you have to be the owner or licensee of the patent for being eligible to fight against its infringement. You also need to take into account the law of limitation of the state and file a suit within the time allotted for such cases, as otherwise the claim would be considered as expired.
You can take action against the manufacturer as well as the user of the product that you consider to be an imitation of your product, but you can do so only as long as your patent subsists according to law. Once the span of patent expires, no legal action can be taken against any infringement.
Notwithstanding the strict liability principle that patents are governed by, carrying out research work by using a patented product does not qualify as an infringement under the current laws in most nations.
Benefits Of A Patent
The most important advantage of a patent is the legal acknowledgement of an inventor’s right over his innovation. Any invention having some commercial worth in the market can bring for the inventor significant returns unless another person deprives him of his rights over the commercial as well as other returns from that invention. In simple terms, patents allow the inventor to reap the benefits of his expenditure and efforts in the product in terms of monetary gains for a particular period of time.
The next important benefit of a patent is that it enables the inventor to reap profits from his invention and cover the expenses borne on the same. The inventor can make good profits on his investment by marketing his invention successfully without confronting the threat of competition during the patent period when no other individual is allowed to manufacture or sell that product.
An inventor may even have his reputation at stake and if someone steals his product and markets it as his own, the original inventor will lose the due acknowledgement that he is otherwise entitled to get. Here too patenting saves the day for the inventor.
Patents play a major role in making the product a commercial triumph. You might be needed to talk about your invention in public in order to gather suggestions to improve upon your idea and make it commercially viable. This would lead to disclosure of your idea and you would need legal support to protect the idea from being misused.
A patent allows an inventor to prosecute anyone who makes unlawful use of his invention. Patents not only permit the patent owner to take legal action against the infringer but also enable him to seek compensation, which in turn provides more financial safety to his invention.
Yet another advantage of patents is that licensees normally are reluctant to invest in an invention that does not have exclusive rights in the market. Hence, for successful licensing of an invented product, a patent plays a very important role.