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Patents Infringement- How to Protect Yourself

Danger: Patents Infringement

Before you start developing a new product, an import or export business, you should check whether you may infringe on others' patents. Today there is a bewildering number of patents, so the task is not easy. Moreover, patents are written in a legal language that may be difficult to understand by lay people. Adequate, professional research performed by a patent attorney can save you much money and damages.

You should check not only patents, but also published patent applications: if the judge decides there indeed was a patents infringement, the patent owners can collect damages payments from the date the patent application has been published.

In the United States the danger of infringement is still more severe, for example: whereas in Israel and most countries the Court can award payments for damage due to the infringement, in the US the Court can award up to three times the actual damages. This is called:
Treble Damages

How to deal with the danger of infringement

The patent attorney has various tools at his disposal, to help protect you from infringing on others' patents. These include for example performing a Freedom to Act research and additional tests; early detection of patent applications which may pass the examination to become registered patents, so you can object to the patent grant when it's relatively easy to do so; and more.

Danger of infringing by filing a patent application

Inventors ask me, whether there is danger of infringement by filing a patent application. Maybe someone has a patent for the same invention the customer wants to protect.
The answer is no, your patent application will not cause infringement and can't cause a law suit against you- there is nothing to prevent you from filing your patent application, provided of course you are the inventor.
The worst that can happen is, that your application will be refused and will not issue as a registered patent.

On the other hand, if your invention is significantly different from other patents, or is an improvement to others' patents, there is a good chance that your application will be granted a patent, and that the resulting patent will help protect you from possible infringement suits.

In this case as well, it is true that the best possible defense is the attack: It is easier to get an advantage with a patent of your own, than to research and protect yourself against all the others' patents there may be.
For example, you may use your patent for Cross- Licensing agreements with other patent owners.

A thorough protection includes both researching others' patents and building your own patents portfolio, as well as other suitable measures.

How to profit from patents infringement

We handle the patent infringement subject both ways: Just as someone may lose from infringing on another's patent, the patent owner may benefit from others infringing on his patents.

The patent owner must act wisely, to improve his chances of success. Success is not guaranteed, even if you are the patent owner. There is the question, how strong your patent really is? Will it withstand an attack in Court? Keep in mind that the first line of defense of an infringer is to claim that it was not right to grant the patent in the first place. The infringer will demand to have the patent canceled, and sometimes he may succeed. It so happens sometimes, that a patent owner initiates a law suit to protect himself against an infringer, and ends with a Court decision to cancel his patent.

Our patent attorney office can help you, to strengthen your position so as to improve your chances of success. As a soldier checking his weapon before battle, you also should check and enhance your patent protection. It is easier and lower cost to improve your position at the Patent Office, than to win a legal battle in a Court of law.

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Eng. Marc Zuta, Patent attorney

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