Patent litigation is a balance between validity and infringement In a patent infringement lawsuit, the patent owner must prove that the alleged infringer’s conduct or product is covered by the patent owner’s patent. To do so, the patent owner may have to broadly interpret their patent’s claims to find infringement. Unfortunately, in doing so, the validity of the patent … [Read more...]
Avoiding patent infringement
Avoiding patent infringement involves analyzing claims of patent in the patent database and known patents for conflicts with your invention.
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Blurred patent scope good for both patent owner and accused infringer In Meadwestvaco v. Rexam (Fed. Cir., 2013), a perfume bottle manufacturer figured out how to hide a tube within a perfume liquid. The user doesn’t see an unattractive tube sticking down into the perfume liquid. The manufacturer achieved this by closely matching the refractive index of the perfume liquid … [Read more...]
Design patents protect ornamental features. The scope of protection is defined by what is shown in the drawings. In contrast, utility patents protect functional features. The scope of protection is defined by the claims. This distinction is simple to state but the ramifications are significant and sometimes confusing. Inventors will sometimes suggest that we protect a … [Read more...]
An opinion of patent counsel regarding patent infringement is relevant to the intent of an alleged infringer and may be useful to mitigate trebling of damages. This case expands the value of opinion of counsel to also mitigate liability for inducement of infringement. Patent infringement may be found through direct infringement. This occurs when a person personally makes, … [Read more...]
The stock answer is that a patent is enforceable for 20 years upon filing. However, this is not the complete picture. First off, the patent term doesn’t start until grant of the patent which may be anywhere from a few months for design patent and a couple of years for a utility patent. The patent term is dependent upon the following factors: 1. Was the first filed patent … [Read more...]
Claim drafting is one of the harder aspects of preparing a patent application. The reason is that the patent attorney must balance broad claim langauge and avoiding the prior art. A broad claim is desireable because competitors will have difficulty designing around your patent, should one issue. However, broader claims are also subject to rejection as being so … [Read more...]
In a patent, broader claims are generally more desireable. However, the breadth of the claim must be balanced with its validity. If the claim is too broad, then the courts will hold that the claimed invention is anticipated by the prior art or an obvious variant of the prior art. If the claim is too narrow, then the patent might avoid anticipation by the prior art or an … [Read more...]
To be liable for patent infringement, a “single” entity must sell a product or perform all of the steps of a claim in a patent. If “two” different parties provide different components or different steps of the patented product or method, then there is no liability unless one party control or directs the other party. In Golden Hour Data v. emsCharts (Fed. Cir. Aug. 9, 2010), … [Read more...]