Protect Your Intellectual Property


What is a patent?

     A patent is the legal protection granted by the federal government to an inventor to encourage progress and prevent others from benefiting from the invention.

What does patent protection provide?

     Patent protection involves the right to exclude others from making, using or selling anything that would fall under the claims of the issued patent. The duration of the patent protection depends on the type of patent.

What factors are considered when determining whether a patent has been infringed?

     Determining whether a patent has been infringed entails the court examining the claims of the patent and comparing them to the accused device or process. This may be more complex in situations where the claims terms are unclear or ambiguous. The court can determine that infringement exists even if the accused device or process isn’t identical to the original. If the device performs substantially the same function in largely the same way to produce substantially identical results, it is likely that a court would find infringement.

What are my rights if someone infringes my patent?

     You may file suit in a federal district court to enforce your patent against an infringer. If you are successful, there are many possible outcomes. Courts look to compensate the patent holder with damages for lost profits and/or punitive damages for willful infringement.

Some of the most important assets in your business may be your intellectual property. These are intangible assets, including patents, trademarks and trade secrets. The U.S. government created these protections to keep your intellectual property against infringement.