Recently, patent validity has been somewhat of a controversy including the legal process around it.
If you’re involved in a legal fight over patent validity or need guidance on how to get your invention properly patented, contact a Scottsdale patent lawyer.
Most basically, something is patentable if it is a new, useful, non-obvious idea or invention. When you get something patented, you have legal and exclusive rights over that product or process for 20 years. In the process of getting your invention patented, the first thing you should do is a patent search to ensure your idea is in fact novel, non-obvious and useful.
During a patent search, a lawyer will examine all existing disclosures on file to determine if your invention is novel or an advancement on something already patented and possible infringement rights. This is beneficial to the inventor in two ways. One, if their idea is not novel, meaning it already exists as a patent or product, it saves them the expenses of filing for a patent application. Two, it establishes if the invention is valid, meaning it meets all the requirements, and is proof of the precautionary steps taken if an infringement case gets filed in the future.
Unfortunately, depending on the idea and industry, patent searches aren’t always thorough. Not only that, but they can be very expensive. These are some of the recent controversies around patent validity.
If an infringement case gets filed against you, the legal process unfortunately, isn’t in your favor and here inlies the controversy. According to the patent laws, an infringement case if suing for money damages, goes to trial by jury. In most cases, the technology or invention in question is beyond easy comprehension. Therefore, getting a judge or jury to understand the nuances and thus accurately determine if something is a copycat, isn’t easy.
Access to thorough patent searches also adds to the complexity of the situation. With excessive patenting and patent trolls, there are numerous disclosures on record and examining them all could be nearly impossible. On the other hand, if a patent is written with poor explanations, it becomes even more difficult to determine infringement due to a lack of or unclear descriptions.
Infringement suits have a lot on the line especially if you’re up against a business giant. Not only does a considerable amount of time and resources go into getting a product developed and tested, but if you’re accused of infringement, you could be forced to payout huge sums of money that you may or may not have.
These cases are even harder to win because the plaintiff doesn’t have to prove the defendant knowling infringed on their idea, only that it was committed. Having an experienced patent lawyer is an essential component to getting your idea patented and protected and can make all the difference in the result of your case.