In this informative blog, we have outlined some powerful tactics for avoiding patent infringement and obtaining valid patents. Read along to know more.
It may be costly to develop new and inventive goods that provide actual advantages to users. Patents are an excellent approach to safeguard your investment in new product development or design because they create roadblocks that restrict rivals from producing similar or identical items. On the other hand, contending patents might provide significant obstacles if you want to set your foot in new markets or introduce new goods, so it is critical to understand both the dangers and possibilities that patents create.
By ignoring a patent and building a product that unwittingly infringes on a competitor’s patent, you risk destroying the product, squandering all of your investment, and having to pay enormous damage. Abbot Laboratories had to pay $1.67 billion to a Johnson & Johnson firm in 2009 after one of its products was found to infringe on Johnson & Johnson’s patent.
Many arguments will not result in massive payouts, but any dispute can be too time-consuming and costly. Suppose the patent is found before the creation is released. It might be between releasing the product and risking a major legal battle, resuming development, or deserting the project entirely.
It is obvious that looking for, tracking, and reviewing patents constitutes an essential part of product creation; however, with searches yielding lakhs of results, what’s the best way to discover without becoming confused or bogged down by thousands of complicated specification documents?
This blog has got you covered. We have outlined powerful tactics for avoiding patent infringement and obtaining valid patents based on new technologies. The strategies are determined by the product nature, the sector, and the patent environment. Let us look at some of the acts that constitute patent infringement.
Patent Infringement: Punishment
The Patents Act of 1970 contains Chapter XX on the penalty for patent violation. The following are the numerous parameters established for an act that will result in punishment for patent infringement:
- According to the Patents Acts (Section 118), an individual can be imprisoned for two years or fined.
- According to Patents Act (Section 120), if an individual falsely declares that any object sold by them is patented in India or is the subject of a patent application in India, they are penalised with a fine of up to ₹1 lakh.
- According to Patents Act (Section 121), if an individual falsely uses the term “patent office” in any document or their place of business produced by themselves that misleads the faith of others, they shall be sentenced to jail for six months or charged a fine. It can be both too.
- According to Patents Act (Section 122), if an individual refuses, fails, or falsely provides any of the following:
- Any false information submitted to the Central Government (Section 100, sub-section 5)
- Any false information provided to the Controller (Section 146)
They may be liable for a punishment of up to ₹10 lakhs.
- According to Patents Act (Section 123), if an individual who is restricted from practising as a patent agent (Section 129) violates the provision, they are liable for a penalty of ₹1 lakh for the initial offence and ₹5 lakhs for the second offence.
- According to the Patents Act (Section 124), if a firm commits an offence, the person in control of the firm shall be held accountable under this clause.
Strategies to Avoid Patent Infringement
Here are some strategies to be aware of to avoid infringement of patent:
- Create and Test
This technique is appropriate for areas where you feel you can generate disruptive innovation by executing things differently than your rivals. It is best suited to slower-moving sectors or product categories where patent challenges and fights are uncommon.
The initial focus of creation in the Create and Test method is on inventing new ideas that will provide product and user benefits. These concepts are created to develop a new and improved technology or technique of usage. This approach may be reasonably rapid and low-cost, resulting in a rush of fresh ideas.
Once the new ideas have been determined to have high potential, a patent search is conducted to discover whether there are any patents for the same concepts. There are often no related patents, so a patent application for the invention can be developed. If comparable patents are discovered, they can be thoroughly examined to see whether the new design infringes. If the new design concept is infringing, it must be adjusted.
Because this procedure begins early in the creation process, it may simply implement any modifications without significant delays or expenditures.
- Recognise and Avoid
Many new product creations begin with a competitor’s success with a new product, including a new technology or function. You want to produce a product utilising the same approach or technology since it is what the market now expects. Typically, a patent will be issued to protect the new feature.
The Recognise and Avoid approach is utilised in this scenario. It all begins with a search for patents covering the item of interest. As soon as the relevant patents are discovered, the contents of the claim are examined to determine whether the patent protects it or not.
With a solid grasp of the patent, you may begin developing alternate alternatives that achieve the same result while avoiding infringement with a leading legal services firm. It necessitates a hold of the technology and the fundamental concepts of patent law. When you have one or more potential remedies that your attorney feels can prevent infringement, they take them for a formal opinion to validate patent non-infringement.
Once the legal service provider is confident that it is not violating the original patent, they search for a new design to ensure that there are no additional patents that might cause complications. It is sometimes impossible to obtain the same function while not violating a patent. At times, the non-infringing and alternative approach is too expensive or complex, implying that the development should be halted. It does not happen very often, but it is best to find out sooner rather than later so that you may make a commercial choice.
- Investigate, Create, and Test
This method is employed when there are multiple competing technologies and patents that might all impact the new product. A patent search is performed to identify a few crucial areas where patents are present and gain a basic grasp of competing patents and their features and services. Parallel to the investigation, concept generating effort generates several ideas that provide commercial and user advantages. Once many concepts are developed, they are compared against the patent identified.
The effortlessness of avoiding the detected patents and obtaining a new patent is thus two essential criteria for picking the item concept to be created. A patent lawyer then examines the new design for non-infringement against the recognised patents, and a broader search is conducted to determine patentability as the design evolves.
Patents provide protection and insight into the technology that others are creating. One of the conditions for a patent is that it offers sufficient information to enable the innovation to be made. Therefore, they contain a lot of comprehensive information about rivals’ technology and a solid signal of their product development strategy pipeline. Even if you do not intend to produce a new product right away, keeping an eye on new patents may help you plan your approach and give you a kick start when the time comes.