Expertise of researcher’s at PatentBlast covers the entire spectrum of technology and science. Our researchers’ expertise and dedication enables us to stand up to client’s expectations. Our single minded focus on invalidity searches has helped our researcher’s develop unique search methodologies corresponding to their areas of expertise. Needless to say, having a large global footprint gives us enormous firepower in terms of searching native language searching. Further, our numerical superiority ensures you get your deliverable on time and with desired quality.
There are various defenses to avoid being confiscated by the Courts. The first defense is to claim that the activity of the respondent does not violate the patent rights of the complainant. This could be achieved by proper interpretation of the claims of the complainant’s patent and proving that the respondent’s activity is not covered under the claims spectrum. Existing prior art could play a significant role in the next defense to prove complainant’s patent is invalid. For this purpose relevant prior art may be cited to indicate that a patent should not have been granted to the complainant in the first place. Besides these two previously mentioned defenses, the respondent may claim unfair conduct on part of the complainant. Inequitable conduct, if once proved, may results in invalidation of the patent itself.
A patent document contains all the necessary information about what the invention is and how it works. It also contains a set of claims. The claims clearly give the idea what the inventor seeks to protect with his patent. So, for something to infringe on a patent, it needs to match the definition given in at least one claim.
It is always possible to start a court procedure to invalidate a patent. However, this requires a lot of money and at the same time complexity also exist. You have to prove to the court that the patent does not meet the statutory requirements for patentability, for example because it is not obvious or novel. Proving this could be difficult, even for supposedly trivial patents.
In Europe, when a patent is granted, you can launch an opposition within the next nine months. In US, you can request for reexamination.
A patent invalidity search is conducted to invalidate one or more claims of the issued patents by uncovering appropriate prior art. Invalidity search is useful for company/organization which is alleged to have infringed a patent. Although every claim of a patent is assumed to be correct when granted, but it is possible that patent office may allow some claims due to lack of sufficient time and resources allotted to a patent examiner. In such cases, invalidity search conducted will uncover better prior art than the earlier one performed by patent examiner.
Prior art is a legal concept. Any information disclosed to public before the patent filing date which describes the same or similar invention constitutes a prior art. Generally speaking, prior art corresponds to earlier existing document that is relevant to patents claims. Specifically, prior art refers to any such document that could invalidate a patent or limit its scope.
The resources of prior art are immense but the most common sources of prior art are patents (and published patent applications), and non-patent literature, such as, books, journals, product literature, academic work and content published on internet. Further, physical embodiments of products and evidence of sale or public use may also constitute prior art. Patent collections are highly organized and thoroughly indexed as compared to non-patent literature, therefore, patents are very good sources of prior art.
The invention date depends on whether a particular country’s patent administration uses first-to-file or first-to-invent scheme. Except US, most countries use first-to-file system. Even US is shifting from first-to-invent to first-to-file system. In Mar 2011, US Senate based a bill to that effect.
First-to-file – Under this rule, regardless of the date of invention and who the first inventor was, the person or legal entity who files a patent application first is the one who is granted the patent.
First-to-invent – Invention is generally defined to comprise two steps: conception of the invention and reduction to practice of the invention. When an inventor conceives of an invention and diligently reduces the invention to practice (by filing a patent application, by practicing the invention, and so on), the inventor’s date of invention will be the date of conception. Thus, provided an inventor is diligent in reducing an application to practice, he or she will be the first inventor, and the inventor entitled to patent, even if another files a patent application (reduces the invention to practice) before the inventor. [Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prior_art ]
A granted patent provides safety cover for up to twenty years, counting from the priority date. However, patent is required to be maintained by paying maintenance fee on time. The US requires maintenance fees to be paid at 3.5 years,7.5 years and 11.5 years after day of issuance whereas European countries require yearly fees to be paid. If holder does not pay a maintenance fee, the patent is considered abandoned.
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