Patents gives an inventor an exclusionary right to prevent others from making, using, selling, offering for sale or importing the patented invention. Examples include machinery, medical devices, computer programs, computer systems and business processes. A patent can be a utility patent or design patent. If utility, it can be broken into two steps, a provisional application and a non-provisional application. The timing of filing a patent application is vital. To protect your rights, we recommend early filing and a visit with one of our experienced patent attorneys to discuss how to file a patent application.
A United States Patent gives the inventor the exclusive right to the invention claimed in the patent. Any unauthorized user of the invention may be sued by the patent holder. However, the burden is on the patent owner to prove infringement, which can be demonstrated in a number of ways, including literal infringement or infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. Literal infringement occurs if, when evaluating the claims of the patents, there is a correspondence between the claims of the patented device and the infringing device. Where a device does not literally infringe, it may infringe under the doctrine of equivalents. A device can infringe under the doctrine of equivalents, if it performs substantially the same function in substantially the same way to achieve the same result.
If you have a patent that you believe is being infringed, you should contact one of our patent attorneys to preserve your legal rights. Conversely, if another person or group is claiming that you are infringing upon their patent, you should contact one of our patent attorneys to assist you.
At the Intellectual Property Center, we can enforce your rights under the United States and International Patent laws to protect your intellectual innovation.