What is Patent Infringement? Patent infringement occurs when someone makes, uses, sells, or imports a patented invention without the permission of the patent holder. Infringement can also occur when someone offers to do any of those things. In the United States, patent infringement is governed by federal law, including the Patent Act of 1952 and the America Invents Act of 2011.
Patent infringement is a serious issue because it allows someone to profit from another person’s invention without permission. This can harm the inventor by preventing them from selling their invention or from being able to license it to others. Usually, two types of patents can be infringed upon, design patents and utility patents. Design patents protect the overall look of a product, while utility patents protect the functionality of a product.
To prove infringement, the patent holder must first prove that they own a patent or the rights to a patent and that the defendant is infringing on their patent. They can also show that the alleged infringer knew about the patent and still went ahead with the infringing activity. In some cases, the patent holder must also show that the infringer had a chance to stop the infringement but did not do so.
Willful infringement is the most serious form of infringement. To prove willful infringement, the patent holder must show that the infringer knew about the patent and still went ahead with the infringing activity. In such cases, the patent holder does not have to prove that the infringer had a chance to stop the infringement but did not do so.
What are the Consequences of Patent Infringement?
The consequences of patent infringement can be very serious. First, the courts almost always order the infringer to stop the infringing activity immediately. If it is proved that someone has infringed on a patent, that person can be ordered to pay the patent holder damages. In some cases, the patent holder may also be entitled to treble damages. This means that the infringer would have to pay the patent holder three times the amount of damages that the patent holder suffered.
The court can also order the infringer to pay the patent holder’s legal fees. This is not always the case, but it is more likely if the infringement was willful or if the patent holder had to go to court to stop the infringement.
What Can You Do if You Believe Your Patent is Being Infringed?
If you believe your patent is being infringed, contact an experienced patent attorney. They can help you determine whether infringement has occurred and, if so, what you can do about it.
If infringement occurs, you may be able to resolve the issue informally with the alleged infringer. Alternatively, you may be able to mediate or arbitrate the dispute. If you are unable to resolve the issue informally, you can file a lawsuit in federal court. A lawsuit can be a long and expensive process. You should be prepared for a lengthy legal battle if you decide to go this route.
What Should You Do if You Receive a Notice of Infringement?
If you receive a notice of infringement, you should immediately contact an experienced patent attorney. The notice may be sent by the patent holder or by the infringer. The notice will likely allege that you are infringing on the patent and will demand that you stop the infringing activity. The notice may also threaten legal action if you do not comply.
You should not ignore a notice of infringement. If you do, you may be accused of willful infringement, which can result in increased damages and attorneys’ fees. You should also not try to resolve the issue on your own. An experienced patent attorney can help you determine whether infringement has occurred and, if so, what you can do about it.
We Can Help
When someone violates your patent, it can feel like a personal attack. You put your blood, sweat, and tears into your invention, and now someone is trying to take it away from you. On the other hand, if you’ve been accused of patent infringement, you know how serious the charges can be. The potential damages and penalties can be crippling, and the legal process can be complex and confusing. In either of those cases, you need an experienced patent infringement lawyer on your side to help you navigate the system and protect your rights.
Tim Billick and our firm TBillick Law PLLC has the skills and experience to help you with your case. Tim has a deep understanding of patent law and the infringement process, and he knows how to build a solid defense to protect the interests of his clients. We will work with you to understand the facts of your case and help you build a strong legal argument. Contact us today by calling 206-494-0020 or use our convenient online form to send a message and learn how we can help you.