Patents refer to legal documents that protect an individual’s original non-artistic work from being, used, duplicated, and sold by another party. There are different types of patents granted to inventions based on specific criteria and qualifications. First, the invention in question must be proven to be innovative, non-obvious, and functional. An individual with such an invention can file a petition with the US Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO to receive a patent protection that should last up to 20 years.
Patents have been devised by the government as a way to protect an inventor’s original work from being copied by someone else, prohibiting the recreation of such a product for a specific number of time. Patent infringement happens when a violation of this legal protection occurs, and a competitor goes ahead and duplicates a patented design. Other activities such as manufacturing, selling, and importing patented work are also considered an infringement against intellectual property laws.
Litigating patent infringement cases often involves a lengthy and complicated process. There are many nuances and legalities to intellectual property laws, and the court and jury hearing the case are often given plenty to consider before having to give a final verdict. A great of amount of detail needs to be closely examined by the jury to fully understand whether an infringement has indeed taken place. Because intellectual property laws are often complex, it might take some time before these details are fully fleshed out during the trial. Take, for example, the series of on-going and convoluted cases between Apple and Samsung in different courts across the world. The different lawsuits filed in US trial courts spanned for over three years, resulting in big losses for both companies.
Patent law is heavily nuanced and it’s difficult to get a full gist of this entire section of the justice system quickly. Parties interested in protecting their inventions against infringement will need to consult with a qualified intellectual property lawyer for more information.