Is my product infringing on others patents?

This is the question all technology companies need to ask themselves at a very early stage of product development.To understand whether you product/process infringes on others patent rights; we first need to understand what patent infringement means. 

Patent infringement
A patent is said to be infringed when a product/process violates the rights granted to a patentee. A patentee (also referred to as an assignee of a patent) is given the rights to exclude others from making, using, importing, selling or offering for sale the patented invention for up to 20 years. This scope of protection granted to a patentee gives him the right to take legal action against the infringing parties.
 
How do we determine if a product/process infringes upon a patent?
 
To determine infringement of a patent by a product/process, one has to go through a section of a patent document called the claims. The claims section of a patent document describes in detail, the scope of protection granted to a patent.
 
The claims have to be analyzed in detail to find out if a product/process infringes upon the rights of a patentee. Depending on the nature of the claim, the claim would include a number of elements or process steps. Subsequently the scope of each of the elements/process steps has to be determined. Thereafter, your product/process has to be compared with the elements/process steps of the claim. The above comparison helps you determine whether the claimed elements/steps exist in your product/process.
A claim is said to be infringed if all the elements of the claim exists in your product. Similarly, a claim that includes process steps is said to be infringed, if all the process steps are present in the process that you intend to follow. 
 
In other words, if all the elements in the claims of the patent map on to the features of your product, your product is infringing upon the patent rights of the patentee.
It should be noted that, if your product does not have at least one element of the claim, then your product does not infringe upon the patent rights of the patentee. This analysis of infringement is carried out by well established doctrines developed over many years. This analysis is generally referred to as infringement analysis study/product mapping/claim mapping.
 
Now to give you an idea of how this works let me explain with an example.
 
Let’s take an example relating to a patent for a car seat, the claim describes a car seat which can be electronically height adjusted, backrest can be adjusted, and the seat can slide forward and backward. Now you should check whether all the elements of the patent claim appear in your product, i.e. whether your car seat product has an electronically height adjustable feature along with adjustable backrest and forward and backward sliding seat, if so, your product infringes upon the patent rights of the patentee.
 
If your product has all the features of the elements of the claim of the patent and has additional features like seat warmers, even then your product infringes upon the patent.
 
If your product does not have at least one feature mentioned in the elements of the claim, such as electronically height adjusting, but has the remaining features, then your product does not infringe upon the patent.    
 
I hope you found this article useful. Feel free to contact us for any information that you may require.
 
You can visit our website to know more about the patent services that we offer.
 
You can download a copy of this article here
 
Thank you,
Team InvnTree
Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

thirteen − 11 =

?>
Please wait...

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter!