When an inventor has discovered a product or process that solves a technological problem, they are granted a set of exclusive rights known as a patent. Once the patent is granted it excludes others from making, selling, using and offering for sale the patented invention for the life of the patent. Even with a patent in place, there are those that may try to skirt around the law and infringe on a patent.
Your Rights and Responsibility
Because a patent is intellectual property, it is governed by federal law, therefore the patent holder must sue the infringing party in federal district court. Patent holders must bring their infringement claims within six years of the infringement. Next, the infringer will counter that the patent is not valid. They are a few reasons why a patent would be deemed invalid, as the patent holder it is important to remember that YOU bear the burden of proof to prove the defendant infringed the patent.
Long Road Ahead
Patent litigation is a very long road; uphill, in the rain, and the snow with a giant at the top looking to knock you back down. On top of the length of these cases, they are also very expensive and most times the defendant is a big corporation with deep pockets and a hefty knowledge of the patent litigation process. It's important to remember that if your patent is infringed upon, there aren't a lot of options other than patent litigation, so gear up for the long haul and get yourself a patent litigator.
Patent litigation is war and you want and need a seasoned general to navigate you through the battlefield to victory. There are many law firms out there that will be able to handle your claim, be sure to do your research and ask questions. If your litigation is successful there are several possible outcomes you may encounter:
• Injunction Relief
• Exclusion Order
Injunction relief is one of the core goals of a claim for it ceases production and/or sale of the infringing product. If the patent owner is an “efficiently-run domestic industry,” then they can get an exclusion order, which will stop the infringer from importing products that use the infringed patent.
If you win, you are entitled to monetary damages. A good litigator may also be able to negotiate a settlement too.
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