Hudson, Potts & Bernstein frequently serves as local counsel for international corporations litigating patent, trademark, and intellectual property disputes in northeast Louisiana, handling cases in both state court and the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
Patent infringement falls under intellectual property laws which include trademarks and copyrights. However, patents are a little different.
Patent infringement actions are under the purview of the federal district courts. The American Invents Act (AIA), signed into law on September 16, 2011, by President Barack Obama significantly changed the U.S. patent system. Prior to the AIA, the Patent Act of 1952 was the governing law regarding patents in the U.S.
The AIA changed the U.S. patent system to “first inventor to file” as opposed to the previous “first inventor” status. Patents before 2011 are subject to the Patent Act of 1952. Patents that are subject to the AIA are those filed in 2011, but some of the requirements did not take effect until 2013.
Patent infringement occurs when someone creates or designs a product that is significantly similar to a product that is already patented. It can also occur when a patented product or invention is sold, marketed, or used commercially without authorization or permission from the person who holds the patent or owns the invention or product.
Often it is a business that infringes on a patent by marketing, selling, or commercially using a product. However, individuals can also commit patent infringement.
There are no criminal penalties attached to patent infringement. This is a characteristic that sets it apart from copyright law and trademark law. The patent holder can file a lawsuit against the party that is infringing the patent and legally force them to stop. They may also receive compensation for the infringing party’s unauthorized use of the patent.
There are several types of patent infringement:
Direct Infringement – A patented product is manufactured without the permission of the patent holder. Indirect Infringement – A person helps, aids, or encourages another to infringe a patent. Contributory Infringement – A party or person provides a part that doesn’t have a significant non-infringing use to a direct patent infringer.Literal Infringement – Occurs when the words in the infringing device and the patent claims directly correspond. An invention can infringe a patent even if it is not literally infringing it. If there are substantially similar tasks that are intended to create or achieve the same result, it is an infringement of the patent under the doctrine of equivalents.
The law gives a patentee the right to decide who will or will not make, use, market, sell, import, and other actions. The patentee must provide written authorization.
If the patented product is produced, marketed, sold, used commercially, imported, or used in other ways, especially to make a profit, the patent holder can sue the party that is infringing the patent. Patent litigation can be a long, arduous process.
The patent holder can sue for patent infringement with the federal court within six years from the time that the alleged infringement took place. After that time, they are no longer able to sue or enter into patent litigation regarding that issue.
Contact the law offices of Hudson, Potts & Bernstein for patent litigation in Monroe, Louisiana. Call today for your appointment and let us help you with your patent infringement case.