What is patent infringement

Patent infringement is where an act is performed with respect to a patent without the permission of the holder. Registered patents can be used by third parties where the holder sells, rents, leases or simply permits the usage in the form of a license however where a patent is use in any manner without authorization this will amount to infringement.

Patent infringement explained

Patent infringement and applicable patent laws vary from country to country however the common denominator of such infringement is the misuse and unauthorized use of a patent by third parties who are not the holder. Infringement also extends to the selling of a patented invention when the patent is not the sellers property to trade.

It is important to know the patent infringement protection and laws in your country of registration as the scope will vary according to the country you are in, however many jurisdictions will stipulate that for infringement to come into play, the patent in question must have been used without permission in a ‘commercial capacity’. Patent infringement cannot be considered where the patent is used or sold in a country where the registered patent has no rights.

There are many forms of infringement where by the infringing party acts in an unauthorized manner to develop, sell, use or damage a registered patent. However, there are reasons that may support a person’s decision to use a patent without authorization, these include;

  • The patent had expired
  • No evidence of practicing the patented invention
  • It was used outside of its registered territory/territories
  • The patent that is infringed is invalid on grounds of patentability
  • A license was obtained for the use of the patent in good faith

When using a patent it is necessary to ensure you are within your rights to do so, and so it is advised that you seek professional consultancy services  to maintain legal compliance of patent use and act in line with the applicable patent legislation.