Patent infringement is the act of making, using, selling or offering to sell a patented invention, or importing a product covered by the claim of a patent without seeking permission of the patent owner. If you are involved in the corporate world, a patent infringement expert witness, will tell you that should ensure your business dealings and ideas are not infringed or you don’t infringe on patent laws to avoid a business nightmare. Rather than spending money in court after being sued, you are better off taking necessary steps to avoid such a scenario in your business.
Investigate on your product
Do an extensive research on your business idea before investing time and money in it to determine whether any other patent in your country and across borders covers your product. Do not make delays and a product prototype should be highly discouraged before this research. You can research online and review a similar competitor’s product for any patent notices.
You can contact the competitor to see if they have a patent; this is advisable if you believe they do possess a patent that you haven’t yet found and most likely, in that case, they don’t have a patent because that is public information. If you do find a patent, you can screen it to determine whether the fees expired, in which case, you are not infringing and whether the maintenance fee was paid in due time. If not, you are also not infringing.
Hire a patent attorney
After your investigation indicates potential infringement issues, an attorney comes in handy in doing a search of companies similar to yours. Also, the attorney is very useful for interpreting claims in a patent. The attorney will do this in three stages; first, is the preliminary infringement review, then the formal infringement review and lastly the patent invalidity review. If the formal review turns out negatively for you, the attorney will battle the validity issues.
Evaluate the existing patents
Challenge the validity of the patent and argue out its issuing. You can design around the patent claims by comparing the scope of claims to your product. Likewise, you can change your product to be outside the scope of a patent to avoid infringement.
Investigate the prior act, which includes written descriptions of similar products, sales of similar products, and use of the similar products before the filing of the patent. If there are public disclosures, offers or printed descriptions for the sale of a product a year or more before the patent was filed, you have grounds for arguing the patent is invalid.
Seek for a license
A patent infringement expert witness suggests that if you have not been successful in claiming the invalidity of a patent or working around the patent claims, you should propose to the patent owner granting you a license.
If you are aiming to be successful in your business, the above steps are very necessary to avoid time wasting and spending money in court defending your product. Also, a business unassociated with patent infringement is an attention to investors. You might want to consult the services of a patent infringement expert witness for more advice.