Are your inventions, ideas, and technologies being used by others despite you hold patent for that? In this blog, you will get detailed information about patent infringement, how to identify and control it.
In the modern business world, patent infringement is one of the most important topics. As per a 2017 update to The IP Commission Report, the intellectual property theft in America is $600 billion a year, and China is a core infringer. Donald Trump has ordered trade investigation to check the China’s IP laws, and policies that are harming the US IP rights, and is likely to take strict steps to control the infringement activities.
No matter the industry your business belongs to, you need to stop copycats from using your innovative ideas. This is because, IP infringement can account for great loss to your business you might not be aware of.
The patent office can only provide you the right to protect your IP, but it is your responsibility to identify and stop the intellectual property infringement. If you become successful in this, achieving your business goals will be much easier.
When you find someone using your IP rights without permission, you can’t stop him/her right away. You need to prove patent infringement and can do so with the help of claim charts. These detailed reports enable you know how your product is infringed, and what are the principle infringers. Based on these reports, you can design strategy to stop infringement.
Creating claim charts is a detailed process, which won’t happen overnight. Although, you can start on your own, but it is recommended to hire a reputed IP firm for this purpose.
Let’s get started with IP infringement analysis and control in detail.
Building IP claim charts comprise doing complete study about claims, finding the products that are infringing the IP, and collecting evidences of infringement. Here is the step-wise process:
Every patent has a claim section, which is considered as its heart.
The first task in the IP infringement analysis is to identify what the patent is all about. In this, the claims are studied comprehensively to know the nature of invention, design, concept, features, working principle, etc.
A patent can be used in multiple areas; thus, you need to find out the list of industries, markets your IP can have applications in.
Suppose, you have a software patent, which is applicable in healthcare, education, IT, and sports industries. But, you have used it only in healthcare sector. Maybe someone using it in other areas, thus, you should consider all the possible market areas for research.
This is the main step in the process, and it comprises finding the products that are infringing your IP with the help of in-depth market analysis.
For infringement analysis, you need to study products launched from the priority date of your patent till today. It doesn’t mean that you should check all the products – they might be thousands in number. Just study only those, which use the same design, concept, working principle, etc. like your technologies. But, how do you identify them? Use keyword method.
Create a list of keywords, which contain the words (or combinations of words) that describe technologies, design, concept, etc., and different market verticals of your patent. Search with these keywords on different search engines to find out the top players and their products.
In addition, you should also check tech journals (like tech crunch, tech insider, etc.), market reports, news, business magazines, whitepapers, online blogs, YouTube videos, etc. for identifying the products using your intellectual property rights.
What if the information about features and working principles of some products is not available online? In such a case, reverse engineering process can be used for infringement analysis.
In the previous steps, you have identified the products, which may infringe your patent. This is not the proof of intellectual property infringement; how do you prove that? Build claim charts.
Claim charts are created by mapping the elements of the claims to features of the products identified. These detailed charts help you know how the products are infringing your claims and what is the level of infringement.
Building claim charts doesn’t mean that you have successfully controlled patent infringement. You need to inform the infringers to stop infringement activities. And, what about the royalties that others have earned using your IP till date? You deserve that and have the right to get them.
There can be two options, let’s discuss them in detail:
Patent litigation is a legal process that allows a patent holder to sue others for manufacturing and marketing his technologies. If you win the case, royalties are given based on the IP valuation.
In exclusive licensing, the IP holder issues license to only one licensee, which can use the patent as per the conditions mentioned in the agreement.
On the other hand, non-exclusive licensing enables the IP holder to issue license to multiple licensees. This ensures the patent is used to manufacture useful products, and properly utilized.
IP infringement is a like a disease that eats away your business silently. So, it is necessary to locate and stop the IP infringers immediately.
IP licensing is the best way to control infringement activities. It provides an opportunity to work with growing organizations and get maximum benefits. However, patent litigation can also help recover IP damages, but it is a long highway to get royalties.
Hope you liked the blog post. If you have any query related to patent infringement, please put in the comment box. We welcome any suggestions from your side!!