Patenting a product or invention is a difficult process, and an infringement of that patent can be a stressful thing to deal with.
As well as being one of the most difficult forms of intellectual property to obtain, patents are also one of the most expensive forms of protection to enforce. But with the help of a knowledgeable patent attorney from First4Lawyers, you can ensure that your work is not used without your permission.
You can contact us today for a no-obligation discussion about your patented product and any potential infringements being made against it.
What is patent infringement?
If something you have made is protected by a patent, then any attempt to manufacture, use, sell, or import your product without permission may constitute an infringement of your intellectual property right, and this can be considered a civil offence under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Depending on what type of work you have patented, a breach can occur in different ways. These include:
- Where your patent applies to a product – the making, offering to dispose of, using, importing, or keeping of your patented product without your permission.
- Where your patent applies to a process – the use, offer for use, disposal of, offer to dispose of, or import of any product obtained by the process you patented.
- Where your patent applies to an invention – anything that enables a person to put the invention into effect without authorisation from the patent holder.
What are the penalties and remedies for patent infringement?
Depending on the details of your case, a successful claim for patent infringement could result in the following remedies being offered to you:
- Damages to rectify any financial harm (paid for by the defendant).
- An injunction to prevent further infringements by the defendant.
- An account of profits from the defendant.
- The destruction of delivery of the infringing items.
- A court declaration that the patent is valid and infringed.
The court might limit the damages paid by the defendant in cases where they were unaware of the patent’s existence.
I believe someone is infringing my patent – what should I do?
If you believe you are the victim of patent infringement, the Intellectual Property Office, to which you had to apply in order to obtain your patent, will not enforce your patent or address any issues relating to infringement.
Because the onus is on you to address any infringement issues, it is advisable to seek legal advice from solicitors who have a strong background in handling patent infringement cases, such as the team atFirst4Lawyers.
It is advisable to act with caution when seeking to sue for patent infringement. If the threat to sue is found to be unjust, because your patent was invalid or because there was no infringement being made, then significant financial responsibility for court costs and damages may fall to you.
We can help to advise you on the likelihood of your patent infringement case being successful.
I am being sued for patent infringement – what should I do?
If someone contacts you to inform you that you are infringing their patent, and you did not realise that your actions constituted an infringement, then you might wish to consider complying with their request in order to avoid a further case against you.
If you wish to contest their allegation, it is advisable to seek assistance from a specialist patent lawyer to help guide you through the options available to you.
These include the possible defence that the actions you have taken do not constitute an infringement of their patent, whereby you would seek to prove that they are wrongly accusing you of an infringement by detailing your actions, or the defence that the patent on the product in question is invalid, and you were thereby not in breach of it.
If you are aggrieved by any threat of patent infringement made against you, you can ask the courts for an injunction to stop the threats – but only if the patent is invalid or if the threat is unjustified. If you are successful, the court may order the party making the threat to cease, to declare that the threats were unjust, or to award damages to you.
Talk to theFirst4Lawyers team
AtFirst4Lawyers, we can examine your case and help you to establish the strongest way to defend yourself against allegations of patent infringement, or act on someone encroaching on your patent.
Contact us for a no-obligation talk about your circumstances, where we can work out the best next step.