Once a patent is granted, the inventor may now mark their product with the patent number so as to provide constructive notice to everyone that the product is now patented. The constructive notice eliminates an innocent infringer defense. With the AIA, the law now provides for virtual marking. To find out more, click here.
The patent term is calculated from the filing date of the earliest non provisional patent application within its chain of priority. However, patent term can be cut short if the patent owner fails to pay the mandatory maintenance fees which are at 3 ½ years, 7 ½ years and 11 ½ years. To find out more, click here.