How To Perform A Patent Infringement Analysis By Yourself

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Having a patent gives you the authority to prevent others from producing, utilizing, selling, or making the innovation available for sale. Or, to put it another way, your competitors are not permitted to produce, exploit, offer for sale, or use the innovation as claimed in your patent without your consent. So, if you find that a rival’s product violates your patent, you can sue for monetary damages in federal court and, in some circumstances, you can even obtain an injunction to stop the infringement.  

But what does it take, legally speaking, to establish that a patent has been infringed, and what procedures can you take when applying for a patent to make sure your patent is enforceable against infringers? 

To assess if a product or a procedure violates a patent claim already in force, a patent infringement analysis is carried out.  

To start with, a patent infringement analysis should be conducted after determining the claim’s scope. Second, it should be examined to see if the device or process meets all the requirements of the claim. Each limitation of the dependent claims is included in one or more dependent claims. If a product does not violate an independent claim, it cannot violate the dependent claims. The independent claims are therefore the ones that are mainly examined for patent infringement. 

Conducting a patent infringement analysis is an important step in determining whether a product or process infringes on an existing patent. This analysis can help a company avoid costly legal disputes and ensure that they are not infringing on the intellectual property of others. In this blog, we will outline the steps involved in conducting a patent infringement analysis. 

Table of Contents

What Constitutes Patent Infringement? 

There are a number of distinct ways that patent infringement may occur under US law. Here are some of the types of patent infringement:  

Direct Infringement:  
Direct infringement occurs when a single entity’s good or service satisfies all the requirements of at least one separate patent claim. The offending party need not be aware of the existence of your patent in order to be held accountable.  

Indirect Infringement:  
Indirect infringement occurs when one party forces or helps another party produce a good or render a service that satisfies all the conditions of at least one separate claim in your patent. The two are as follows: 

Induced Infringement:  
Induced infringement occurs when the offender is aware of the patent and intentionally leads the other party to commit a direct infringement.  

Contributory Infringement: Contributory infringement occurs when an offender knowingly offers a part or product that aids another party in directly violating a patent, without the part or product having any significant non-infringing use.  

An investigation of whether a technique or product infringes the patent’s claims can be requested by the patentee. The owner of the product can also ask for a patent infringement investigation to see whether their procedure or product infringes a patent. It is a difficult process that frequently requires esoteric analysis to comprehend claim drafting and determine whether there is infringement risk.  

Phases In Determining Infringement In Court

In the US, there are two main phases in determining infringement in court:  

The process of determining the scope of a claim is called claim construction. Whether the accused goods infringe the patented invention is decided by the court.  
When a court assesses the significance and boundaries of a patent’s claims, this process is known as claim construction. Terms are interpreted based on their plain or literal meaning during the claim form process. The sole exception to this rule is when a term has a new, unique meaning that the patent holder has provided. The specification can be used to establish whether the inventor has given a term a new meaning. 

A patent infringement analysis evaluates whether a claim actually “reads on” a device or method employed by the alleged infringer or if it is covered by the doctrine of equivalents.  

The Analysis’s Steps Are

  1. Determine the claims’ “literal” language’s scope. 
  1. To evaluate if there is literal infringement, compare the claims, as they should be interpreted, with the accused device or method. 
  1. Apply the law of equivalents to interpret the claims’ scope if there is no literal infringement. 

The doctrine of equivalents is an equitable principle that, in practice, broadens the claims’ purview beyond their literal language to include the entire range of the inventor’s contribution to the art. 
Additionally, the prior art limits the range of equivalents to which the patent holder is entitled. 

Here Are Some Easy Steps Giving A Fair Idea Of How To Perform An Infringement Search On Your Own

  • Identify the patent in question: The first step in conducting a patent infringement analysis is to identify the patent that you are potentially infringing on. This may involve searching through public databases, such as the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database, to find relevant patents. 
  • Read and understand the patent claims: Once you have identified the patent in question, it is important to thoroughly read and understand the claims made in the patent. These claims outline the specific elements that are protected by the patent, and it is these elements that you will need to compare to your product or process to determine whether there is infringement. 
  • Compare your product or process to the patent claims: Once you have a thorough understanding of the patent claims, you can begin the process of comparing your product or process to these claims. This may involve breaking down the claims into individual elements and comparing each element to your product or process to determine whether there is a match. 
  • Consider any potential defenses: If you do determine that your product or process may infringe on the patent in question, it is important to consider any potential defenses that you may have. For example, you may be able to argue that the patent is invalid, or that you are using the patented technology in a way that is covered by the doctrine of fair use. 
  • Seek legal counsel: If you are still uncertain about whether your product or process infringes on an existing patent, it is an innovative idea to seek the advice of a qualified patent attorney. They can help you to fully understand the legal implications of your situation and provide guidance on the best course of action. 

By following these steps, you can conduct a thorough patent infringement analysis and make an informed decision about whether your product or process may be infringing on an existing patent. This can help you to avoid costly legal disputes and protect your own intellectual property rights. 

Conclusion  

Even though conducting a patent infringement search may seem easy, there are many technical aspects that an attorney understands better. It is always recommended to consult a professional before deciding anything.  

In order to determine if a device or process is infringing on a patent claim, we at TT Consultants conduct a thorough analysis of a patent’s claim chart and identify the parts of the claims using our established methodology. Speak with one of our patent specialists about your needs and strategy to obtain the desired search analysis. 

Why TT Consultants? 

Our services comprise the following, depending on the needs of the Client:  

  • Making detailed Infringement Searches 
  • Depending on the results of the Infringement Searches, proposing, and collaborating in the development of the best IP (Intellectual Property) strategy  
  • Creating a list of the major participants in the patent subject’s technological sector and a list of target products, using resources such as third-party subscriptions, online searches, and other databases, among other things.  
  • Doing practical product testing to prove infringement  
  • Giving full advice on your rights, the adjustments that must be made for a grant to be effective, and legal opinions for patent lawsuits.  
  • Enabling a search for potential licensees in relation to your IP portfolio, conducting a SWOT analysis, and planning for patent acquisitions. 

About TTC

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