Types of Patent Infringement
What Are the Different Types of Patent Infringement?
Patent infringement is any unauthorized manufacture, sale, or use of a patented invention. Patent infringement occurs either directly or indirectly.
Direct Patent Infringement
The most common form of infringement is direct infringement, where the claims of the patent literally describe the infringing invention or the invention performs substantially the same function.
Indirect Patent Infringement
The second form of patent infringement is indirect infringement, which is broken down into two types:
- Infringement by inducement is any activity by a third party that causes another person to directly infringe on a patent. This can include selling parts that can only be realistically used for a patented invention, selling an invention with instructions on using in a certain method that infringes on a method patent, or licensing an invention that is covered by another's patent. The inducer must knowingly aid the infringement, but intent to infringe on the patent is not required.
- Contributory infringement is the selling of material components that have been especially made for use in a patented invention and have no other comercial use. There is a significant overlap with inducement, but contributory infringement requires a higher level of guilt. To be contributory infringing the seller must intend for the direct infringement to occur.
In order for there to be liability for inderect infringement, there must also be direct infringement resulting from the indirect act.
Do I Need a Patent Lawyer?
Patent infringement is a very technical and complex issue. An experienced patent attorney can help you determine if your rights have been infringed and also represent you in court.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 01-10-2012 03:41 PM PST