A patent infringement lawyer can help you with any legal issues you have concerning intellectual property.
Whether you’re a business owner, inventor or investor, there’s a chance you have to deal with intellectual property issues requiring a patent infringement lawyer. But what exactly is a patent? Keep reading for the details you need to know.
What Is a Patent?
A patent is a type of legal protection for the patent owner that allows the owner to enjoy a monopoly on a particular invention for a specific period. This monopoly provides the patent holder exclusive rights to make decisions that will allow them to profit from the patent.
There are three primary types of patents: utility, design and plant. A utility patent is what most people think of when they think of patents. It’s any invention that is new and useful.
A design patent is a non-functional design that expands on an existing device. For example, a typical chair isn’t protected by patent, but a chair with a one-of-a-kind design that the world has never seen before can have design patent protection.
A plant patent is a patent that involves plants, and is common in the bioengineering and agriculture industries.
What Is Patent Infringement?
Patent infringement occurs when there is a violation of a patent’s legal protections. The most recognizable example is when the patent holder has exclusive rights to manufacture and sell a specific product, but someone else starts making that same product and selling it themselves. Now that we know what patent infringement is, how do we know we need to hire a patent infringement lawyer?
Sign #1: You Want to File a Patent
You are not legally required to hire a patent attorney to file a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It can save a lot of time and aggravation by getting legal help, but on the flip side, you can save a lot of money on legal fees by foregoing legal representation. In fact, federal law requires the USPTO to help inventors file their patents without attorney help.
To file a patent application, you’ll need to make sure your idea qualifies for a patent. One of the biggest qualifications for a new patent is that it must not already exist. This requires a patent search.
This search can be extremely time-consuming. There can be confusing gray areas where you find something similar, but it’s not clear if your potential patent will infringe on this similar idea. It’s at this confusing time where hiring a patent infringement attorney may be worth your while.
They can help you figure out if your new idea infringes on this existing idea. They will not just examine the technical similarities, but any legal issues to consider. They can also help you calculate the legal and financial costs of filing a patent that will likely spark a patent infringement lawsuit, which is usually quite expensive.
Sign #2: You Own a Patent and It Starts Losing Money
If you are a patent owner enjoying an income stream from your legal monopoly on the patent, you might notice your sales based on a particular patent have dropped off. Perhaps it’s a change in the market due to the patent naturally losing sales. Or maybe it’s because someone else is infringing on your patent by copying it and profiting from it.
In this case, you need to take action to stop this patent infringer. But to do this, you will almost certainly need legal help. Patent infringement lawsuits are costly and can easily run into hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
With the guidance of a patent infringement lawyer, you can present the most effective patent infringement case and do so as economically as possible. There could also be other, non-litigation options to consider that may make financial sense. Your attorney can advise you of these options.
Need a Patent Infringement Lawyer?
Do you have questions about hiring a patent infringement lawyer? Click to contact the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. online.