A patent is a right that can protect your intellectual property so that others may not use it without your permission. Patents are distinct from trademarks as they keep others from using patented ideas for their own gain. A patent can be acquired on inventions that are useful, novel, and not obvious. This means that things that are patented must be unique from existing inventions, and they should provide some kind of utility and not be something that is based on common sense. Patents can be difficult to acquire if you aren’t sure how to file them. However, you may also easily infringe upon a patent without your awareness or intention.
A patent is designed to prevent others from using a unique creation. Patent infringement occurs when an entity uses a patented invention without the permission of the patent holder. This doesn’t protect written published material. For infringement to be proven, both designs would appear to be the same or similar enough that an observer would be unable to tell the difference between both designs.
Design infringement can be very difficult for those working in the creative fields. If a case is brought against you for patent infringement, three main elements must be proven:
Damages are another important part of a design infringement case. If you infringed on a patent, monetary damages inflicted due to the infringement will be considered. This can actually be in favor of the patent holder, as it can give the jury a clear picture of the damages caused by the infringement.
It’s important to check whether or not you are infringing upon patents when you are running a business or trying to invent items on your own. There are two basic ways that you can test whether or not you are committing patent infringement:
The important thing to note is that these tests rely on visual observation and opinion by a single individual and can thus be challenged in court.
If you’re inventing and designing items, you’ll want to be sure that you’re neither purposely nor unintentionally simulating anyone else’s designs. On the other hand, if you’re the holder of a patent, you’ll want to be sure your designs aren’t being copied.
If you’ve invented or designed an item, you’ll likely want to do your own research in order to make sure that your designs are unique. Having the help of an experienced attorney can assist you with this process. Design patents are important for ensuring your designs are unique and protected and why infringement can be a serious problem. If you don’t take the time to research your idea and make sure that it doesn’t already exist, you could end up wasting a lot of precious time and money on a design or concept that you cannot legally use, and you could risk unintentionally breaking patent laws.
There are a few different penalties that you could incur by infringing upon a design patent:
Having an attorney for patent infringement can help in a number of ways. They can help you complete research to verify that any product or invention you intend to produce or sell isn’t in violation of patent law.
An attorney can also look into the claim that the patent holder is making. It’s possible that the patent owner hasn’t made a claim that is specific enough or lacks the correct information. A skilled attorney can request this information on your behalf if this happens.
While the attorney is reviewing any kind of claim, they can assess exactly what the patent protects. Depending on the language used, the patent holder may have limited themselves as to what they can claim is infringement. Your attorney can help you with this approach.
In the event that the claim appears valid, your attorney can help negotiate with the patent holder and come to an agreement. It may be possible to obtain a license so you can continue producing your product. Either way, an attorney can assist with settling outside of court or represent you if a court case becomes necessary. A patent attorney will know the best course of action for you to follow.
While no one wants to go to court over a patent infringement, if you’re inventing and designing products, following these best practices should become a necessary part of your business regimen. The skilled team of professionals at Four Reasons Legal can assist you with your patent infringement case and work toward your best possible outcome. Rather than managing it alone, look for an attorney who you can trust and that will advocate for you to the best of their abilities. Reach out to this Denver patent attorney team today.